Your 30s are such a strange time in your life because they’re basically the adolescent years of being a real adult. You’re not some green college grad with no responsibilities but you’ve also probably yet to blossom into a minivan-driving dad with a 9-to-5 and a mortgage. You might still be trying to hold onto the coolness of your younger years, but don’t worry—it’s easier to do than you think.
- Travel. One of the best parts about being in your 30s is that it is usually the first decade that you feel like you have expendable income and you still have the energy to use it. Get out and travel as much as possible to as many places as possible. There’s nothing cooler than a guy who has experienced other cultures and brought back a piece of that with him.
- Take care of yourself. In your 20s, it was all about Tequila and Taco Bell at midnight, but all of that changes in your 30s (or at least it should). You know how to take care of yourself by now, and while eating right and exercising may not seem “cool,” they totally are. When was the last time you saw a guy with a beer belly and a burger stain on his polo and thought, “I want to be that guy’s friend”?
- Make your own opinions and back them up. Your younger years are a time of social exploration, but by the time you reach 30, you should have a pretty solid understanding of what you believe. Don’t be a sheep that repeats everything you see and hear on TV and in social media; read for yourself and form your own opinions no matter how unpopular they may be. Having intelligent and well-thought out ideas shows that you’re smart, and nobody considers intelligence uncool.
- Don’t follow social norms just because you should. Throughout the ages, the one defining factor of being cool is going against the grain. That remains true even when you’re at an age where you check your stocks regularly. Just because some people need to get married or have kids or buy a house doesn’t mean that you have to. You do you, and people will eventually respect you for it.
- Be kind. When you’re in your teens and 20s, it is considered cool to be an exclusionary dick, but when you reach your 30s, ain’t nobody got time for that. It’s much cooler to treat the people around you with respect. After all, when you put good into the world, you get good out.
- Try new things. Maybe traveling isn’t your thing, but trying new things is along the same idea and you can do it in your hometown. You have a little more time and money than you did in your last decade, so now is the time to get out and try to new experiences. Whether it’s skydiving or taking a Frech cooking class at the community center, being a more well-rounded person makes you more secure and ultimately cooler.
- Impart wisdom. Some of the best life advice I ever got was from a 30-year-old coworker at a party when I had just come of age. I was drunkenly daring his friend to do something and he told me never to challenge someone to do something I would never do myself. That advice will always stick with me through life, and I’ve admired that man ever since. Imparting the wisdom that you’ve learned so far in your life will make you infinitely cooler in the eyes of those younger than you.
- Dress for success. Another age-old pillar of coolness is the way that you dress. When you get a little older, you usually trade in ripped jeans and leather jackets for something a little more sophisticated. While fancy clothes will make you look cooler, feeling good in your clothes will make you ooze coolness.
- Keep up with pop culture. I can’t stress enough how important this is to stay young and hip. You don’t have to keep up with the Kardashians, but you should at least know who they are. The youth are the ones that set the trends and determine what’s cool or not, so you should probably know what is in and what isn’t. It’s not hard to do, just follow World Star and check TMZ every once in a while. Who knows, you may even surprise yourself and find that you kind of like what the kids are into nowadays.
The idea of being cool is such a subjective thing that it’s impossible to say who’s cool and who isn’t. What we can all agree on is what is not cool, and if you follow this list, you won’t ever have to worry about being on that one. One more tip when it comes to being cool: Don’t try too hard, it’s embarrassing.