The verdict that college was the time of our lives, with little responsibility in life other than school and socializing- is out. What’s in? Surprisingly, it’s reaching the age of thirty-three, and all the good stuff that comes along with it. Yes, there are good aspects to aging- don’t worry under 33-er’s, you’ll get there eventually.
A study done by the British social networking site, Friends Reunited, surveyed people over forty years of age and found seventy percent did not feel happy until turning thirty-three. Oddly enough, only sixteen percent felt happiest during their childhood and a measly six percent were at their peak during college. Additionally, other accomplishments that occurred after college rated high on the happiest memory scale: thirty-six percent when bearing children, twenty-one perfect during a peak in their career, and fourteen percent in becoming grandparents.
This new notion might be hard to believe, but examining the reasons, it starts to make sense.
Psychologist Donna Dawson explains it further: “The age of thirty-three is enough time to have shaken off childhood naivety and the wild scheming of teen-aged years without losing the energy and enthusiasm of youth. By this age innocence has been lost, but our sense of reality is mixed with a strong sense of hope, a “can do” spirit, and a healthy belief in our own talents and abilities. We have yet to develop the cynicism and world-weariness that comes with later years.”
What’s the deeper meaning?
What would you really prefer? Being in your teens or college years, while having a lack of responsibility, sounds fun, there are strong limitations in terms of developing yourself, whether via career, relationships, or even having the financial freedom to pursue what you want. If your parents did not approve of a certain hobby, what can they do once you’re an adult, living on your own, and paying your own bills? A person truly grows when they are able to make decisions for themselves, and once we age, we are both able, and willing to do that on our own.
We tend to hold onto our youth, cherish, and value it, which we should. They are a part of who we are and set us on a path to adulthood with a level of flexibility. However, we have to remember that aging ultimately means gathering experiences, learning who we are, growing, changing, being challenged, experimenting, and while we may never have it completely figured out, thirty-three seems to be the number where we have a strong foundation to being happy and successful in our lives.