Are you in your 30s?

The video below argues that it is important to do things right in your 20s. Largely it talks about two areas of life — career and marrige. It states that according to multiple researches, the foundation of both are set in your 20s: <research shows that> most of the determining life events happen before the age of 35, most of the people meet their life partners in their 20s, your salary in the end of your career exponentially depends on what it was in your 20s.

I cannot agree with this. I think, one circumstance was forgotten — that the people who act as subjects of such researches today were born in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Yes, most of them really got married before they were 30; and it was typical that they started working right after college. If by the age of 35 they had a stable job, a mortgage, and a wife with two kids; of course nothing major would happen in their life later. That is why any research of people who passed their 40s now would show the above patterns — their lives’ foundations really were laid in their 20s.

On the contrary, for us, who were born in the 1980s and 1990s, the new patterns are obvious — we get married much later; having kids in your 30s is a norm now; it is typical that graduates take a break for a year or two before they start working; people are not scared to pause their career later, quit the job, travel, try something new. I am sure a new research in 10–20 years will show quite different data.

Essentially, what’s really changing now is that people get off the railway track and go off-roading. We got more freedom to choose what and when we really want to do in our life, and the systems have to adjust. Companies are more lenient to hire people with ‘random’ work experience in their 30s. People don’t rush into marrying someone just because ‘it’s time’ or there is a family or society pressure. Strong connections are made throughout life, because people are becoming more versatile and open for it. It was harder to do when you get family early and don’t change your job till you retire. Before, moving places was considered something extraordinary and would happen only out of necessity. Today, it is common that people move in order to explore something new.

All of these is already happening. The trajectory is towards more freedom in choosing your career, your partner, your friends, your hobbies; and most importantly — freedom to choose when you want it. The set life plan that our parents followed is terrifying for many of us. It is a standard now to not follow the rules and make your own pattern.

And maybe, in the end of our life we will not necessarily see what was the foundation and what was the building (it’s boring!), but we will see that the life was more like a river, it had waterfalls, had drouths and floods, but most importantly, it went through many lands and it became more affluent with time.