Wednesday, 30 September 2015 08:19

Thoughts on turning thirty

Written by
Turning 30
Photo: Tobias Melzer

As E&M prepares to launch its 30th edition, we asked ourselves what turning thirty means to us as individuals. From fear to excitement, editors past and present weigh in on this milestone of modern life.


Chris, editor of Heart / Legs  (26 years old)

I remember in my teens watching an episode of Friends where one or other of the group (was it Ross... Rachel or Dave? It doesn't matter) was really stressing out about turning thirty. At that point, it seemed miles away and I couldn't see what all the fuss was about. Now it's much nearer and I still can't see what all the fuss is about. True, your twenties slip by pretty quick but then I look at 18 year olds today and I think, oh god, was I like that once? Thirty seems much more refined, like a glass of port. A time where you're confident enough to know what you do and don't like and not get phased by situations, and young enough to still legitimately be able to go a bit crazy every so often. Overall, I'm looking forward to it and hope that I'm still young at heart despite the extra responsibilities.


fer rahmen

Fernando, editor of Brain / Heart (30 years old)

Turning thirty is a paradox. Beyond the clichés that surround this milestone age, what I really take from it is the inspiration of past lessons. For all the things that turned out wrong and I stubbornly did it again – and failed one more time – the time to learn has come! It is like the feeling of having an open book to be written with a pen whose ink has been tested several times already.



Frances, editor of Diaphragm / Baby (26 years old)

Although I'm sure this view will change when the time comes, the prospect of turning thirty currently fills me with the sense of becoming a "proper grown-up", one who shouldn't always be phoning her parents for advice or be quite so afraid of the thought of having to fill in a tax return. Equally, getting older also seems to be making me a bit aware aware of the fragility of life – not in a morbid way, I hasten to add, but just inasmuch as I now realise that not all of my loved ones are going to be around forever. I'd like to think that it gives me a little more perspective on the things that really matter and an impetus to spend more time with the people I care about.



Nicoletta, editor of Sixth Sense (22 years old)

When I was younger and thought of myself at 30 years old, I always assumed I would magically transform into a character from Sex and the City and that from there a glamorous life would ensue. This let me comfortably look forward to my 30s without the fear and anticipation that is normally connected to turning thirty. While this illusion begins to fade and my 30th birthday draws nearer, I am thinking of it more of as a goal. By my 30th birthday I want to have done something I am really scared of – probably involving some dangerous heights (within reason, though, as I still want to be able to make it to my 30th birthday!) and eat as many burgers as possible. Maybe within the next eight years I'll collect a few more goals to have achieved by then and look forward to looking back on my to-do list and see what I have achieved by my next milestone birthday.


olimpia rahmen

Olimpia, former project manager and editor of Sixth Sense (26 years old)

Thirty seems like such an important number – like I'm saying to myself: playtime's over, time to be serious, get started on that whole world-changing business and see some progress. It seems like by then I should have it all figured out. But the more I learn, the more I feel like I've got more and more questions. In the end, turning thirty is an opportunity to take stock of your life and to see just how satisfied you are with your story so far. I'm hoping the balance tips in my favour, so I'd better work hard on the few years I have left!




Pako, former editor of Heart / Diaphragm (30 years old)

Back when I was twenty, I had a few friends who were already in their thirties. I didn't see much difference between them and myself in many aspects although something in my mind told me they were in an age that was more stable and mature. Flash forward ten years and I realise this was just an illusion created by trends such as "thirty is the new twenty" and all that crap. Turning thirty certainly feels like a milestone but it's definitely not as dramatic or euphoric as some may say. Roll on forty!

Last modified on Tuesday, 06 October 2015 10:18

If the Editorial team had an actual office it would have to stretch from the corner of Britain to the edges of Spain, Sweden, Germany and beyond. (With frequent trips to America too) .  The term 'from the editorial office' then, is very much a figure of speech. 

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