Making Your Twenties Count – Part 1

I recently watched a TED talk called “Why 30 is not the new 20” by Clinical Psychologist Meg Jay. In light of the summer beginning to wind down and high school seniors going to college, this topic was of particular interest to me. Meg Jay discussed why it is important to take advantage of your 20’s.

Society has told us that 30 is the new 20 and that your 20’s are your “throw away years.”

However, there are very significant life events that happen in a person’s 20’s. Some may call this decade the defining decade for your life. Research has shown that 80 percent of life-defining moments take place by the time you are 35 years old.

Meg Jay further illustrates her message by quoting research that:

  • The first 10 years of your career has a significant impact on how much money you will earn.
  • Half of Americans are dating, living with, or married to their future partner by the time they are 30.
  • The brain caps off the last growth spurt in the 20’s as it rewires itself for adulthood.
  • Personality changes the most in your 20’s.
  • Fertility peaks by the time you are 28, and things get tricky after you are 35 years old.

As you can see, all these major life events happen during your 20’s. It is essential for individuals to savor all of these life events and make them count. So why has society deemed the 20’s as the throw away decade? Meg Jay encourages people who are in their 20’s to take control of their life.

Instead of society encouraging meaningless exploration and procrastination of adulthood, let us empower the future generation and empower them to lead productive, successful lives. In part 2 of the blog, we will discuss one of Jay’s key points, meaningful exploration. If you get a moment, please watch Meg Jay’s TED talk.

Ex: Chelsey Beauchamp, MS
cbeauchamp @