Our "thirty-is-the-new-twenty" culture tells us the twentysomething years don't matter. Some say they are a second adolescence. Others call them an emerging adulthood. Dr. Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist, argues that twentysomethings have been caught in a swirl of hype and misinformation, much of which has trivialized what is actually the most defining decade of adulthood.
Drawing from a decade of work with hundreds of twentysomething clients and students, The Defining Decade weaves the latest science of the twentysomething years with behind-closed-doors stories from twentysomethings themselves. The result is a provocative read that provides the tools necessary to make the most of your twenties, and shows us how work, relationships, personality, social networks, identity, and even the brain can change more during this decade than at any other time in adulthood-if we use the time wisely.
The Defining Decade is a smart, compassionate and constructive book about the years we cannot afford to miss.
The professional and personal angst of directionless twentysomethings is given a voice and some sober counsel in this engaging guide. Drawing on research and case studies from her clinical psychology practice, first-time author Jay shows how the decisions we make in our twenties radically affect the rest of our lives. Jay's twentysomething clients are well-educated, yet they lack focus and resist making decisions about love, work, family, and the future. Jay blames popular culture, the media, other researchers, and parents for spreading the idea that the twenties are a time for free exploration, not settling down. In clear but occasionally alarmist prose (e.g., "It would be reckless for us to focus on Kate's past when I knew her future was in danger"), Jay warns that lack of direction in one's 20s leads to cramming major life experiences (graduate school, marriage, children, professional success) into one's 30s. Stressed, over-burdened thirtysomethings end up in Jay's office, regretting their previous decade of deferring serious relationships, career-building jobs, and other life-defining events. While Jay maintains that facing difficulties in one's 20s "is a jarring but efficient and often necessary way to grow," the author is sincere and sympathetic, making this well-researched mix of generational sociology, psychotherapy, career counseling, and relationship advice a practical treatise for a much-maligned demographic.
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The defining decade
One my my best adult friends recommended this book as he has 3 twenty something daughters all with their own struggles, strengths, issues. I downloaded the book and literally read it in one evening. I see myself here as a 54 year old parent of a 23, 21 and 20 year olds. Just yesterday a friend was visiting and asked our eldest whom has completed post secondary what he's up to . He mentioned that he was doing some writing, taking a couple of summer courses and then not sure what the Fall will bring. The response was exactly what I read 50 times in your book, " it's okay, you have lots of time, you will figure it out." when I attempt to have the tough love conversations , coming from Dad whom was and is a AAA over achiever, it rings hollow. They don't want to be me, they don't like the stresss, strains, growing pains, sleepless nights and all of the "negative" perceptions that go along with career, parenthood , marriage and life. They hate "Big Business", don't trust Government yet have grown up in privelage due to all of these "negatives". All of my kids will hopefully read this book, I have already recommended it to two of the 3, as this is a potential voice of reason utilizing real life experiences with real life heart break, confusion, struggles and best of all, results. Whether we are teachers, parents, bosses or coaches, kids get tired of the same voice from that adult ,attempting to mentor them. This book will provide a "voice" they havent heard before, a voice that they may listen to , as it's a voice that could be their own when they reach the final pages. Brilliant !!
Stephen Craig, Toronto, Ontario, Canada