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The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter - and How to Make the Most of Them Now

Review

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter - and How to Make the Most of Them Now

I am 25 and thus right smack in the demographic that THE DEFINING DECADE: Why Your Twenties Matter --- and How to Make The Most of Them is talking about. But the audience for this book is far wider than just readers in their twenties. Even if you just hit 30 --- or on the flip side of things if you have a child in their twenties --- this book will speak to you. 

If you’re in your twenties, prior to reading this, you might be asking yourself, “Am I crazy? Is life really this hard?” The short answer is no. We’re all a little crazy --- some of us more than others --- but being in your twenties is a time of growth, personally and professionally. Though overwhelming at times, you don’t have to have everything figured out. What you do need to have is a plan for the future, because the groundwork you are laying during this decade will matter later.

In this book, Dr. Jay reveals the biggest common misconception about your twenties --- that life begins at 30. It’s a nice idea, but what happens when you turn 30 and realize that you didn’t plan for anything, you just expected for something to click when the day came that you blew out thirty candles? How do you avoid reaching that milestone without a plan? Dr. Jay spells it out clearly --- you use your twenties to figure out what you want that life plan to be. And you don’t need to get it all “right” from the start.

Do you want to get married? Where do you want to live? Do you want kids? 

Your twenties are about deciding on the life you want to live, but that doesn’t mean you have to have everything figured out and tied up with a pretty little bow the day you turn twenty or even the day you graduate from college. With real-life examples of twenty-somethings that she has worked with, Dr. Jay shares proven tips on how to reclaim your “defining decade,” to ensure that you don't wake up one day and realize that there were so many things you wanted to do, but didn't. Some things, like having a baby when you’ve never even had a meaningful relationship or making partner at your law firm by the time you're 30 --- even though you're 28 and haven't started law school --- aren't always going to be an option. Figuring out what you want and when you want it will help you avoid missing out on the things that are really important to you.

She also addresses the voices that say “you should be,” or “everyone is doing this” that often cloud our own decisions. And she takes a look at things like Facebook and what they mean to people --- and how they can skew our perceptions of what is real, no different than the glossy magazines.

If you're in your twenties or know someone who is then read this book! While reading THE DEFINING DECADE all I could think about was how I personally wanted to give this book to every other twenty-something I know. It should be required reading for all. And if you are in your twenties when you finish it, pass it along to your parents.

Reviewed by Maureen Linehan on April 17, 2012

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter - and How to Make the Most of Them Now
by Meg Jay, PhD

  • Publication Date: April 17, 2012
  • Genres: Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Twelve
  • ISBN-10: 0446561762
  • ISBN-13: 9780446561761