In her book "The Defining Decade," Meg Jay suggests that many twentysomethings feel trivialized during what is actually the most transformative — and defining — period of our adult lives.
Lately it feels as if 25 is just a bit too young to get serious. In her psychology practice, and her book The Defining Decade, clinical psychologist Meg Jay suggests that many twentysomethings have been caught in a swirl of hype and misinformation about what Time magazine calls the "Me Me Me Generation." The rhetoric that "30 is the new 20," she suggests, trivializes what is actually the most transformative period of our adult lives.
Drawing from more than ten years of work with hundreds of twentysomething clients and students, Jay weaves science together with compelling, behind-closed-doors stories. The result is a provocative, poignant read that shows us why, far from being an irrelevant downtime, our twenties are a developmental sweetspot that comes only once. Our twenties are a time when the things we do -- and the things we don’t do -- will have an enormous effect across years and even generations to come.
Jay is a clinical psychologist who specializes in adult development, and in twentysomethings in particular. She is an assistant clinical professor at the University of Virginia and maintains a private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia. She spent her own early twentysomething years as an Outward Bound instructor.
“Journalists coin silly nicknames for twentysomethings like ‘twixters’ and ‘kidults.’ … As a culture, we have trivialized what is actually the defining decade of adulthood.”
“When you pat a twentysomething on the head and you say, ‘You have 10 extra years to start your life’ … you have robbed that person of his urgency and ambition.”
“Forget about having an identity crisis and get some identity capital. … Do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that's an investment in who you might want to be next.”
“Twentysomethings are like airplanes just leaving LAX, bound for somewhere west. Right after takeoff, a slight change in course is the difference between landing in Alaska or Fiji.”