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Jen MacNeil '00 Prepares for Turning 30 in a Unique Way

Jen MacNeil '00There’s something about turning age 30 that causes some people to feel great anxiety. But Jen MacNeil ’00 took a positive approach in order to alleviate some of the mounting pressure: She decided to do one new thing every day from her 29th birthday until she turns 30 on March 26.

“Why do one big thing when I can do 365 small things,” MacNeil said. “Turning 29 seems more like a jumping-off point and 30 seems like the destination.”

At her blog, “In The New” (http://jen365.blogspot.com), MacNeil documents her adventures, which range from throwing money off a roof to castrating a calf. She says that her favorite experience was when she telephoned Japan. The idea was inspired by MacNeil’s memory of an episode of the television program “Full House” in which a character called Japan.

“There are no rules. It just has to be something that I haven’t done before,” MacNeil said.

“In the New” has developed a large following. At first, the blog received approximately 70 hits a day and was intended for an inside circle of friends. Today, the blog receives more than 1,000 hits a day from both national and international viewers. It has been featured on CNN, NPR, a radio station in South Africa and Jen MacNeil '00 1college newspapers.

“I never thought the blog would grow this big,” MacNeil said. “It’s exciting to hear how it has affected people’s lives and encouraged them.”

One of the biggest benefits MacNeil learned from her year-long plan was developing a stronger sense of self. “Whether it was my wearing a moustache for a day or going to the movie theater dressed in my pajamas, I had to step out of my comfort zone and not worry about what other people thought of me.”

As for those turning 30, or any age, MacNeil offered this advice:

“Don’t be afraid of it. Find a way to embrace your age and enjoy the experience,” MacNeil said.

Photo Above Left: MacNeil brushes her teeth in an elevator
Photo Below Right: MacNeil castrates a calf