While the title of the book, The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter – And How to Make the Most of Them, may seem excessively long, the book is the complete opposite. The book is written by clinical psychologist Meg Jay, and it has tons of great advice for people in their 20s (or maybe even slightly older).
The book is about what Meg Jay terms “twentysomethings”, which refers to anybody in their 20s. It describes Jay’s experience working with them, and how she thinks society has given mixed messaging that makes it confusing for twentysomethings to set expectations for themselves. For example, Jay talks about how so many people say that the 20s are only for having fun, or how so many people don’t get their lives together until after they reach for 30. I have definitely heard this type of messaging before, and it does tend to make me overly optimistic about my future.
Jay gives many pieces of advice, but I would say her main point throughout the book is that the 20s should be enjoyed, as they are the prime of most people’s physical lives; however, they should not be completely disregarded and wasted. Instead, the 20s are a time for proper planning for the future, and to ensure you are set up for success in the future. Even though many successes won’t be achieved until you are in your 30s, 40s, and beyond, what you do in your 20s will set the foundation of the rest of your life.
I found Jay’s advice super inspiring, and I will try to take many of her points to heart. I think it is really great that she wrote this book to help twentysomethings, and I think it is even more relevant because she shares scary stories of what have happened to people who didn’t think their lives started until 30 and beyond. It is definitely really helpful advice, even if it runs counter to what the media and other people often say.
The Defining Decade Recommendation Rating: 3.5
1: Something worth checking out if you have time
2: Something that is a hit for some people, but not a must for everyone
3: Something worth prioritizing if interested
4: Something worth making time to check out
5: An absolute home run, worth going out of your way for