Iowa Alumni Magazine | December 2013 | Features

The Perfect Age

By IAM Staff
According to a recent online poll by Harris Interactive , the average American adult ranks 50 as the best year of life. With these results in mind, we asked people in all different life stages their opinions.

"The age when you are healthy, happy, and supported by friends and family."
~Deb S., 84BBA


"It's a tie between: A) 9-10. You're getting an idea of who you are and what you like, you have no large responsibilities, you're not yet too worried about your peers' perceptions of you (like in junior high), and you still get recess; and B) 19. You're starting a new phase of your life after high school, with the excitement and endless possibilities of what you want to do with your life. You get freedom to explore once you move out of your parents' home, but also more responsibility for growing up and taking care of yourself."
~Jennifer W., 92BA


"I'm liking 40 a lot. Old enough to know better...young enough to do it anyway."
~Jill B.


"The perfect age is not a number, but a vitality of spirit. A person can be young chronologically, but very old in spirit and vitality, or, conversely, old in years, but have a young spirit and level of energy. The perfect age is when you are healthy, engaged, and enthusiastic about life."
~Diane B., 76BA, 87MA


"The perfect age is the age you currently are. You can never be anything else, so you should embrace it and enjoy it."
~Melissa F., 95BA


"I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22."
~Keith E.


"I just turned 40 today. I think this time in my life is the best. I have stability that I did not have at any other time. I hear women fear turning 40, but I embrace it. Bring it on!"
~Rebecca M.


"18 is the perfect age, because you get to do whatever you want—like drive and go to college."
~Ava, aged 9


"38. The age I stopped caring what others thought of me and became true to myself." Beth H.

"As much as I never thought I would say this: I love being 50. My kids are pretty much grown and on their own, and I am still working but looking forward to retiring. I feel like I have been exposed to so much in my life that has helped to shape my viewpoints to be much more accepting of the human situation. Additionally, being 50 doesn't feel as old as I thought it would when I was younger. I still feel like I can do anything I want to. I love it."
~Lisa M.


"16, because you get a lot more privileges like driving, playing more contact sports, more freedom, and you might have a cell phone."
~Jack, aged 10


"4. The whole world is a wonder, and four-year-olds are ready to take it all in and think about it and participate."
~Shona R., 92BS


"25. You're old enough to do all the important things and your car insurance rates drop, but you're still in your prime. Those were the days."
~Jeff S.


"16. At this age, most of us are still at home within the shelter of our elders. We get clothes, food, water, Internet, and gadgets, and practically everything we own is cheap or free. All we have to worry about is who we are going to prom with and what shoes we are going to wear tomorrow. It is also the exciting time of visiting colleges and obtaining a license. It is such a care- and stress-free time!"
~Betsy L.


"18, because you get to go to college and finally decide what you want to do with your life."
~Alex, aged 8


"From a mom's perspective, I love the age 2. Kids say the cutest, funniest things."
~Melissa L.


"I loved being around 22. It's when you stop wishing you were older, but just before you start to wish you were younger!"
~Nicole D.


"The perfect age is 17-20, when a young adult can decide to apply or accept admission to the University of Iowa." Mary S., 09BA

"30. People finally stop looking at you like you're young and don't know anything."
~Julie P., 04BA


"38. Old enough to have achieved success in career and family, yet still young enough to enjoy it."
~Jackie B., 05BA


"60-70. I just want to be a grandma!"
~Abbie B.


"16. You have your license, and the real world hasn't jaded you."
~David A., 06BA, 06BBA


"If I had to choose one age, I would say 70—as long as you are in good health. You're wise, still energetic, still contributing to the world, you know who you are, and you don't let the little things bother you."
~Linda K., 79BA


"For physical beauty, it's from the early 20s to late 30s; for experience and mentoring, 40 onwards; and to become true to yourself, 50 onwards."
~Sumaira K.


"One year younger than I am."
~Rich R., 71BA


"18 is the perfect age for infinite possibilities."
~Yige W.


"47—old enough to have seen, to have known, to believe, to inspire, to have taught, to have learned, to have faith, to have trust. Not to mention you can go buy that car you've always wanted and simply blame it on the 'midlife crisis.'"
~Sean W.


"6, because you get to be in kindergarten and first grade, and have the best teachers ever. Also, you can pump really well on the swings."
~Lizzie, aged 6


"Embrace the precious present."
Dustin G., 12BBA

"18, so it doesn't look awkward to hit on high school chicks."
~Stewart S., 11BA, 11BS


"60, when you're older and hopefully wiser. You have more freedom with kids out of the house and are more financially stable."
~Stephanie M.


"2, because you don't have homework and no school!" Ethan, aged 11

"40, because you have a lot of experience and people take you seriously, and you can be President, but you're still attractive, and not old and weird."
~Niki, aged 16


"All of them. Because they're all so pretty."
~Sammi, aged 4