30 Things Everyone Should Know Before Turning 30

30 Things Everyone Should Know Before Turning 30

As I get older, I find myself drawn to more and more “things to do” or “things to know” books that always have some sort of age margin in the title—before you’re 30, before you’re 40… It seems like everybody knows something that I don’t, and I absolutely must learn these somethings all before I turn a specific age, and not a day after!

30 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do Before Turning 30 by Siobhan Adcock is no different than the rest of the check-em-off books I’ve been perusing. The back cover insists that the book is “Competence. Now in convenient book format: 30 must-have life skills every capable adult should perfect before turning 30.”

I’m 26, and I have yet to carve a turkey, finish a piece of furniture (other than the ones that come in a box with instructions and glue, like CD holders), or whistle with my fingers—and I’m pretty sure that I can survive without these skills.

If I had to list some must-have skills people should have at this point, I’d probably list reading, balancing a checkbook, flossing and using a condom.

Other “skills” in the book include opening a champagne bottle, ordering wine, making animals love you, holding a baby, and using a compass. I’d love to hear how many people out there would consider these must-have skills—or what skills you would list as completely necessary for life fulfillment?

To illustrate these skills, there are plenty of fun pictures and diagrams, and the writing, while clear and easy to follow, could be more enjoyable if it were a bit funnier. Some skills are demonstrated much farther than anyone might need, such as the dozen or so ways to start a fire.

And guess what? The author—whose first book is 30 Things—wasn’t even yet 30 years old at the time of publishing. So how do we really know that we must know these things before we’re 30? What if she had turned 30, discovered how to fold a fitted sheet, and still lived?

All joking aside, it’s a fun book, if not a little redundant, and it will surely make a great present for your turning-29 friends who still don’t know how to “hold their liquor” or “cure a hangover.” You might even find something in it that you don’t yet know how to do, either.