What Age Do We Stop Being Young?


by Jake McMillan
Kids are quite clearly young and pensioners are obviously old farts, but at what age do you stop being considered young and when do you start being old?Perception of age has changed over the last generation or so. You will have heard 40 is the new 30 I am sure, but what does that really mean and what does that make 30 then? Well, let’s clear all this age nonsense up.

24 is the last age you are officially young. You have not yet reached the mid point of your twenties and so you can still legitimately be considered young.

25 is a no mans land age. You are neither young nor old.

26 is the beginning of oldness to which there are many stages. At 26 you can no longer be described as young as you have crossed over that mid-20s marker and definitely have 30 clear in your sights. You will have left any education long behind and be firmly on your way career-wise.

30 is the next milestone to be reached. However, just like 40 year olds today are considered to be the equivalent of 30 year olds in previous generations, 30 year olds are now the new 25 year olds. Being 30 is not quite the massive milestone it once was as although you are no longer in your 20s (which sucks big time), society does not expect or judge you necessarily to have progressed in areas such as career, marriage, family and home ownership like it used to. In 2011, being 33 and being single and renting your home is perfectly fine, whereas in 1961 it would have been different.

40 is the new 30 as we all know with the expectations of a 40 year old in terms of where they are in their life comparable to what they used to be for a 30 year old a couple of generations ago. When you reach your 40s you are starting that ‘middle age’. You are old, but you are not dead yet.

So is 50 the new 40? Yes, the logic carries through to being 50 compared to societal expectations of 40 year olds 40-50 years ago. The same applies to 60 being the new 50.

And is 70 the knew 60? I’m too young care.



13 responses to “What Age Do We Stop Being Young?

  • Matt

    I not only beleive that depending on your condition or how well you take care of yourself that age is truly a frame of mind.. I further beleive
    that x and y in their obsession with age and drawing battle lines around it has created -needlessly and pointlessly-what must be the largest and most willfully fabricated and exaggerated generation gap in history.

  • shutYourfuckingmouth

    Get fucked with the idea 26 is the end! Fucking eejit!

  • Anna

    This is the worst thing I have ever read! I am 24 and have no idea what I’m doing with my life. I turn 25 in January and this artical has made me feel completely past it and a total failure! I want to be able to still go out partying with my friends like I did when I was 21 and not feel like I’m too old to be doing this. I hate these ideas that you should be doing a certain thing by the time your a certain age. Time is an absolute bitch but society is even worse!

    • jakemcmillan

      Anna, dont worry you are not a failure! Dont feel you should be doing anything by a certain age. You can be 60 and still not know what to do with your life. Ive proposed 26 is the beginning of oldness but that doesnt mean you should stop partying with friends. I still do this and I’m well over 24! Just be you, age is not important.

  • Katie

    I’m 26, and I don’t think it’s old. I’m still young. I’m in college and yes I wish I had gotten through it before, but I still have time. I used to think I was old when I was 22, and I’m just now realizing that 20 – anything is not old. 30s is not old either. If you have the energy to get up every morning, accomplish things, and enjoy life at any age then you are not old 🙂

  • Zach

    How old are you anyway 20 something? If so you have no authority in determining that the start of oldness is 26. According to psychological stages of development and milestones of maturity you’re an early adult till you’re 45, at which point you enter middle adulthood and are expected from society to hace reached most milestones (a house, kids, marriage, financial independence…) 26yos are still lost in the world, many of them are just entering education and aren’t long passed it as you say. This article is ageist and toxic, there is too much variance in the population for anyone to determine at what age we are expected to reach maturity. I am 24 and spend time with people in their 60s who are still traveling the world to find themselves, and 18 year olds with kids and full time wages who support their families. This sort of narrow minded narrative can’t come from other than a lack of perspective.

    • jakemcmillan

      Don’t worry son, you’ve only got 2 years to go 😉

      • Samantha

        Bruh, you didn’t answer his question.

      • Lemon

        Okay, so articles like this kinda assume that everyone’s life is the same.
        Also, you can only truly determine what’s “old” once you’re elderly.
        So I was diagnosed with cancer at 18 and was in and out of hospitals til about 24.
        At 25 I went back to university and I finished at 29. I taught abroad for a few years and now, at 32, I have been offered a scholarship to do my masters overseas. I feel that I still have so much more to offer life and I am incredibly motivated to do so. I can’t say I feel “18” because at 18 I was sick all the time and that’s how I felt through my early 20s.
        Life is too short and unpredictable guys,but most importantly, it’s YOURS.
        Don’t let anyone tell you how to live it.

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