The Time To Start Is When You Chose It To Be; Choose Your Twenties

By Emily Squires |

I am going to turn twenty years old this summer, along with hundreds of other students enrolled at SUNY Broome. Most other students are already twenty, or twenty something. I have wondered in the past about how many of them react to this new age, how I might react even. Unsure of how I should respond to hitting the decade of my life that seems to hold so much power, I turned to my trusty outlets of reading and researching. In fact, what I needed had stumbled upon me, during a shelving shift at Barnes and Noble.

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

What a title, I remember thinking when I first held it in my hand. I later put it on the hold shelf, quite reluctantly actually. Do I really want to know what lays ahead in these years to come? What more, what greater, what new challenges I might and will face.

Yeah, I really did.

And you should too. 

Here’s why.

Enclosed in this book are different interactions between the psycho-psychologist, Dr. Meg Jay, and her patients who quite similarly to all of us, struggle with relationships, motivation, and understanding how to move forward in life we are currently leading. In her book, she informs us of the decisions we might have to make in the future, highlighting these moments for us through her clients’ intel on their own lives. Dr. Jay provides answers to serious questions all twenty-somethings face, doing so in three different parts; WORK, LOVE, and THE BRAIN AND THE BODY.

WORK involves the thrashing topics of what minimum wage jobs mean to twenty year old’s future career – how to find the right job to set you on a path of success. WORK discusses the people we will encounter,our friends, and how our position in where we want to be in the future is highly affected by those closest to us, but even more so by the people we barely know. WORK reveals the too modern concept of our staged life on social media, how harmful comparison can be for our own desire to do what we truly want, because standing in the way is the “I should do.”

LOVE tells the tale of lovers to roommates to hopefully marriage somewhere down the line. Dr.Jay gives statistics on how many more twenty something year olds are experimenting a home life with a romantic partner, how these trial periods may prepare for a marriage or a sealing divorce. LOVE shows that time is fleeting, and with the persona that our twenties are the years to kill with fun nights and quick making decisions, she provides insight on how these years are no years to waste when finding someone to spend the rest of our lives with; because yes, our lives continue after 29. LOVE explains what really matters when choosing that person, personality traits over the controversial “dealbreakers”.

THE BRAIN AND THE BODY extinguish doubt on irrational thoughts of twenty something year olds. Embracing our forward thinking now while we are in the years we are most adaptable to change than any other decade of our life. THE BRAIN AND THE BODY define the key differences between starting a life in your thirties versus having a life in your thirties; marriage, a successful career, and having or starting a family. THE BRAIN AND THE BODY encourages planning/critical thinking about what aspects of your life you want and when. Without any timeframe, getting those, especially pregnancy, later on than sooner, is harder than celebrities and the media make it out to be.

Having fear of entering an age with no room for teen, this book will prepare you just enough to even begin thinking about parts of your life you might not have spent time on before. As a college student especially, A Defining Decade, could be a gateway in learning how to prioritize your wants and needs of the life you hope to lead. Jay’s advice, chose a direction, rather than making no choices at all, can land many of her clients on their feet walking higher in success and satisfaction than before. 

It’s a witty book, with enticingly relatable stories, answers and inspires the reader to start asking themselves questions out of their own motivation. To have read this was enlightening, motivating, and has me on the lookout for the opportunities I so desire. It can do the same for you.

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