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

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

by Meg Jay


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New York Times bestselling psychologist Dr. Meg Jay uses real stories from real lives to provide smart, compassionate, and constructive advice about the crucial (and difficult) years we cannot afford to miss.

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 almost two decades of work with hundreds of clients and students, The Defining Decade weaves the latest science of the twentysomething years with the 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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446561754
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 04/02/2013
Pages: 239
Sales rank: 7,168
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Meg Jay, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who specializes in adult development, and twentysomethings in particular. She is an assistant clinical professor at University of Virginia, and maintains a private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia. Dr. Jay earned a doctorate in clinical psychology, and in gender studies, from University of California, Berkeley.

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Updated Edition xv

Preface: What Is the Defining Decade? xix

Introduction: Real Time xxi


Identity Capital 3

Weak Ties 17

The Unthought Known 33

My Life Should Look Better on Instagram 43

The Search for Glory 52

The Customized Life 61


An Upmarket Conversation 75

Picking Your Family 89

On Dating Down 98

The Cohabitation Effect 115

Being in Like 128

Twenty-Nine Conversations 139

The Brain and the Body

Forward Thinking 153

A Social Experiment 163

Calm Yourself 177

Outside In 190

Getting Along and Getting Ahead 199

Every Body 209

Do the Math 226

Epilogue: Will Things Work Out for Me? 237

Reader's Guide 241

Acknowledgments 251

Notes 255

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