The Age When You Should Stop Doing Everything

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they’re forced to give up on something that they love. For example, growing up, I was always very serious about basketball. It was my entire life. I ate, slept, and breathed basketball from the time I got up in the morning until the time I sunk my last jumper and went to bed.

However, I was also realistic about it. By the time I hit 16 and my stack of Division 1 college recruitment letters was about as high as my stack of Nobel Peace Prizes, I knew that I wasn’t going to be an NBA All-Star. It was then that I gave up on my dream of being a pro athlete, because I didn’t want to be the delusional 24-year-old sending highlight tapes to pro teams.

Which is to say, sometimes you need to say “enough is enough” on important aspects of your life. These are the ages you should throw in the towel for pretty much everything.


Age 3: Sucking your thumb

Beyond this age it’s only acceptable if you notice melted chocolate or barbecue sauce or some other tasty foodstuff you don’t want to waste on said thumb.

Age 5: Getting your butt wiped by others

This is arguably the scariest part about being a parent. Sure, there’s a ton of pressure and responsibility, but none more daunting than having to clean the crap from their offspring’s tuchus. Do them a favor and learn to do it yourself as quickly as possible.

Flickr/Tamaki Sono

Age 6: Sleeping in your parents’ bed

You have your own bed. Use it. Nightmares and “can’t sleep” aren’t valid excuses to mess with your parents anymore. They have work in the morning and deserve a little bit of rest at night without their kid sprawled out between them.

Age 7: Crapping your pants

You should already be well-past potty trained, but even “accidents” should be a thing of the past at this point. You’re at the age where you can consciously control your bowel movements. It’s time to do so. 

Age 10: Believing In Santa Claus

If you’re older than 10 and still believe in a magical fat man who delivers presents all across the world, then your gullibility as well as your home-security practices are seriously questionable. Why would they advertise Christmas presents on television if Santa is the one building them all in the North Pole? Huh kid?!

Flickr/Paul Bonhomme

Age 13: Writing exclusively with pencils

There comes an important point in everyone’s life that often goes un-noticed and unspoken. It signifies growth a person’s entry into maturity. Of course, I’m talking about the switch from pencils to pens. Never mind puberty -- this is the real transition into adulthood.

Age 14: Trick-or-treating

Obviously, everyone loves free candy. However, once you’ve reached the age where you can attend a party or some sort of social gathering on Halloween, it’s no longer acceptable to dress up and ring doorbells.

Age 15: Accidentally calling the teacher “mom”

You’ll never live it down come age 15. Especially if the teacher is a dude. 

Age 18: Believing you’ll go pro in sports

It’s time to face it: If you’re the same age as some of the guys/girls getting drafted, and your stock isn’t too hot, then it’s time to realize you aren’t going to make it. Unless you’re LeBron dressed up as a teenager, for some reason.


Age 20: Taping posters to your bedroom wall

Now that you’re in your 20’s, it’s time to make the switch from posters to pictures. Keep hanging stuff wherever you live, but try and stick to portraits, framed pictures, or artwork. That Zac Efron poster can be removed now and stored safely somewhere private. Or framed, because you’re a grownup.

Age 24: Wearing Ed Hardy and a bottle’s worth of cologne to the club

Don’t be that guy. Please, just don’t. Not only will you be the largest douche imaginable, but you’ll look old and depressing while you’re at it. Being a club douche is bad enough as it is when you’re 19, but the 25-year-old who still does it is just… sadder.

Age 25: Working for free

Unless you’re in med school or have an internship that will greatly help your career, it’s time to stop working for free. You’re an adult with formidable skills (probably?), and you deserve to be compensated for what you bring to the table.

Flickr/Kevin Mosley

Age 26: Celebrating useless occasions

If you want to go out and get drinks for your birthday, that’s fine. However, it doesn’t need a full week of celebrations. Furthermore, feeling the need to find the wildest party because it’s Halloween? That’s just stupid. Even New Year’s is just another day, and it’s about time you realize that.

Age 28: Texting your ex

You’re almost 30 years old and he/she doesn’t need this crap. Grow up and leave your ex alone. If you really need to talk to someone, get on a dating app like the rest of us. Or if the confrontation is what you’re looking for, just go get in an argument in the comments section of a website. But unless you’re Adele, you should stay quiet on the other side.

Age 29: Being the guy on the couch

If you need to stay over at a friend’s place because you got overzealous at the bar or something, then that’s fine. However, if you’re planning on spending an extended period of time on a friend’s couch at the age of 29, then it’s time to seriously consider where you’re heading in life. Also, your friends will hate you.


Age 30: Walking around with a backpack

Nobody over the age of 30 who wears a backpack is to be trusted. This gets doubled when said person is wearing said backpack over only one shoulder. You aren’t carrying around firecrackers and porno mags, so ditch the Jansport and get something that an adult would use. Like a satchel!

Age 31: Doing laundry at your parents’ house

Nobody likes doing laundry. That’s why one of the biggest perks to living at home was mom’s willingness to remove your stains. Well, guess what? You don’t live there anymore (I would hope), so it’s about time you learn to clean your own spaghetti splatters.


Age 33: Crying at work

We all have those moments where we feel like we just want to break down and cry. It’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed at times. However, needing a shoulder to cry on and someone to talk to was fine when you were 22. Now that you’re an adult, you should be pretending to take a washroom break and go cry in your car like the rest of us!

Age 35: Believing in “The One”

If you haven’t found a life partner at this point, then the odds of him/her still being out there AND still being single is pretty slim. Either learn to lower your standards and settle, or start thinking of cat names. Unless you’re Trinity, in which case the fate of Zion depends on your belief in The One.

Flickr/Franco Dal Molin

Age 36: Posting selfies in front of the mirror

Your photo stream is starting to look like a duck-faced time-lapse art project about the horrors of aging.

Age 40: Thinking about starting over

Many people will tell you that it’s never too late to start something new. You can quit your job and start a new business or create a new product at any age, they’ll say. That’s true… if you’re under the age of 40. Anything over, and sort of uncertainty and instability is just insane.

Age 42: Keeping up with current music

By this age, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll hate whatever new music is popular with the youths. It sounds like garbage and it’s nothing like the quality that existed when you were younger. Also, the kids listen to that trash WAY too loud!

Flickr/Vivian D Nguyen

Age 44: Worrying about being cool

Unless you’re Robert Downey Jr, you aren’t going to be cool by the time you hit this age. You won’t understand current events, you won’t enjoy popular music, you’ll think modern entertainment is stupid, and you’ll struggle to comprehend model technology.

Age 45: Listening to behavioral advice from wise-asses on the internet

Just sayin’…

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Tyler Lemco is a writer and rapper from Montreal, Canada. Yes, he is still that guy from high school who's mixtape is about to be fire. Follow him on Twitter and all other social medias with the handle @tlemco.