“Journalists coin silly nicknames for twentysomethings like ‘twixters’ and ‘kidults.’ … As a culture, we have trivialized what is actually the defining decade of adulthood.”- Meg Jay

What you may not know is that this blog was born from a sort of quarter life crisis. Once I reached the age of 24, I became acutely aware of the fact that I don’t have an unlimited amount of time in which to do all the things I want to do with my life. You can read more about that here.

In this 15 minute TED Talk, clinical psychologist Meg Jay debunks the myth that Thirty is the new Twenty and that 20-somethings have all the time in the world to get their lives together.

I’ve been reading her book “The Defining Decade” and have been taken aback by how “spot on” she is in her rendering of the attitudes and challenges my friends and I face. I’ve also been shocked by some of the findings she shares about this formative period. Here are a few, shared by her speaking rep, the Leigh Bureau:

  • 80% of life’s defining moments take place by age 35
  • the first 10 years of a career have an exponential impact on ultimate earnings
  • more than half of young adults are married or have met their partner by 30
  • the brain caps off its second and last growth spurt in the 20s
  • personality changes more during your 20s than any other time in life
  • female fertility peaks at age 28

Definitely sounds like an opportunity you wouldn’t want to squander. That’s why I recommend this read to all 20-somethings and have already given it as a gift. If you don’t have the time to pick up the book (or your e-reader) try to fit in the video. It might just be one of those ‘Aha’ moments she mentions.

What is your experience of the 20s? Does it live up to the picture painted by Dr. Jay in this talk and in her book? Has another decade of your life been more defining?