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The Defining Decade

Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 16, 2012 – 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.

Customer Reviews

Perfect push to be introspective

Made me think a lot about where I’m going and how I’m planning my future. Really important read for anyone in their 20s.

Awesome read!!

This book is a must read during your 20's! I read it twice and read it every other night because it teaches so much.

Wonderful Resource!

I don't read many books, but this one was full of relevant and useful advice for twenty somethings.

Definitely worth getting!

The Defining Decade
View in iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Psychology
  • Published: Apr 17, 2012
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Seller: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings