A book advertisement caught my eye. Its title made me stop in my tracks. What is the defining decade, and how can I make the most of it? The Bible can help. “The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter And How to Make the Most of Them Now”. Our “thirty-is-the-new-twenty” culture tells us that the. Read "The Defining Decade Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now" by Meg Jay available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and .
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It's about why your twenties matter, and how to make the most of them now. . actually the most defining decade of our adult lives. Yet even as we dismiss the. The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now Paperback – April 2, Our "thirty-is-the-new-twenty" culture tells us the twentysomething years don't matter. Dr. Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist, argues that twentysomethings have been. What were you up to in your 20s? Where were you, and what decisions were you making? It's a question I've been asking myself recently as.
Tenth of December. Maybe for some people it's exhausting to focus on our careers, leaving little room for dating. But that was the fault of a lot of adults in my network not my parents, to be clear making sure I know that I'm still young, and it's fine to have fun, and blah blah blah. A study that tracked men and women from their early twenties to their later twenties found that of those who remained single--who dates or hooked up but avoided commitments percent were dissatisfied with their dating lives and only 10 percent didn't wish they had a partner. Where oh, where was Dr. East Dane Designer Men's Fashion. Besides the physical brain, Dr.
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Ratings and Book Reviews 4 14 star ratings 4 reviews. Overall rating 4. Yes No Thanks for your feedback! Report as inappropriate. She mentions gay couples in the fertility section briefly, but the relationship conflicts in this novel are exclusively heterosexual. The fertility bit. Oh yes. That thing. Like, maybe some people out there never made decisions about having children because they thought they'd never meet anyone.
Yes, this is an actual belief that people hold. Wow, by the time they actually "married", it was too late to have children. Are they still at fault? Or maybe, some people want to wait until they meet their spouse before they make the decision - some people are simply NOT parent material. You can love someone, and be aware that the person that you love wouldn't be the best parent. I don't think this is a stupid reason to delay making a decision on children.
Jay, I can't have children at all. I'm 22, and I have a nonexistent uterine lining, through no fault of my own. So I fail to see how your preaching can be applied to everyone, that we all need to "hurry up and make some babies! Age is NOT the only factor for infertility, and from reading this book, you'd think it was the main reason. The story about the client Danielle bothered me. From Dr. Jay's descriptions of her panicking and obsession with control, it seemed pretty obvious to me that Danielle may have some form of anxiety disorder.
Especially when Danielle herself mentioned the same emotional upheaval and instability in regards to an old ex-boyfriend. People with anxiety disorder have A medical disorder?
I mean, if Danielle is expressing the same worrying and fears on two different aspects of her life, i think it might go a bit further than: I don't think Danielle was choosing to worry - from the description, it sounded like her fears were invasive and obsessive.
Those invasive thoughts will probably return again, several times over the course of a person's life. I don't think that combating anxiety, or other emotional disorders, is as easy as acquiring a new worldview.
Brain chemistry can play a big part. Tl;dr While this book is certainly well-intentioned, while reading I find several messages that are being sent to the twentysomething set are problematic, and in some cases, do not address the variety of factors that can influence the actions and thoughts people make and have.
View 1 comment. Recommended to Hannah by: I like the overall message of the book: Your life, even at your twenties, means something, so make the best of it. I fully believe that people, no matter what their age should not waste away their life by partying all the time and practicing bad habits.
Goofing off every now and then is perfectly fine, but making a career out of it is pointless unless you get paid for it and you find it fulfilling.
Therefore, this review may be a bit biased. With the basic message out of the way, I do think the a I like the overall message of the book: With the basic message out of the way, I do think the audience is limited to people who have access to resources and opportunities, mainly the middle class and upper class.
I think the same basic message is viable for all classes, but people of lower classes who don't have access to internships or college may have a harder time connecting with Jay's clients. Jay backs up all her claims with psychological research that most college students learn in basic psych. While having Jay repeat the same information I've already learned is kinda boring, it is interesting to see how she applies the research.
I've read a few reviews and comments on her articles and books, and basically, they complain that her book is too conservative and that she claiming causation instead or correlation. I don't think she's that conservative or confusing causation with correlation.
Her book centers on research and experience in her practice, not on ideology or politics. By adding her clinical experiences, she means to illustrate the research and her ideas in real life, which works. However, some people may not realize that case studies are specific instances in which it works a certain way for one person.
Things may go differently for someone else. That's why when reading her case studies of people, you have to be careful to understand the general idea and not concentrate too much on the details. I know that seems kind of backwards since a case study focuses on specific details and it's not valid to use generalizations from one case study to another, but for the sake of understanding her argument, I suggest you break that scientific rule and go with the flow.
She's using the case studies as examples and not scientific proof. I do think that Jay did a better job on the work issues of her book and that's the section I find more accessible than any other section. However, her other discussions of topics have validity, especially the fertility subject.
Some people may not have kids, so they can breeze over the section if they wish, but I think she spends a lot of time talking about fertility is because it's something couples need to talk about: I also fully agree with her on being in good relationships all the time and not staying with someone who's a deadbeat. Humans are creatures of habit and someone may get stuck in a bad cycle of relationships if he or she is not picky about whom he or she dates.
My only real issue with the book is that it's too future oriented. Yes, it's important to plan for upcoming events, but at the same time, if you're not enjoying your life now or you're so stressed about the future, you can't realize what's in front of you and something's not quite right. I wish Jay would've spent a bit more time talking about the past, present, and future, but she didn't really connect them too much.
She sort of blames twentysomethings for being too present oriented, which is funny 'cause I'm twenty and think she's too future oriented to the point where she forgets to tell people to enjoy their current situations. I think her book would have a better tone if she said something along the lines of, "Hanging out is nice and it's important to treasure your friends, but don't forget you still have future goals to achieve. To achieve them, you need to make sure you're taking steps in that direction earlier in your life rather than later.
They're not all bad off. We can learn from older people's mistakes, but I don't think they should be berated for choosing to do things later in life. Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don't.
However, by using poor decisions of older people, Jay is emphasizing her point that it's better to start planning when you're young, which I kind of agree with. She crosses a line sometimes when she speaks about her older clients. I know she's trying to point out how later decisions affected them, but at the same time, it comes close to almost wagging her finger at them when they've already suffered enough.
I don't necessarily feel like it's condescending, but it does make me wonder and ask questions about my life. Based on other psychology books I've read, I know her advice is relative based on the situation, but it's strong advice. If you get anything out of the book, I think it should be this: Your life matters, so make the most of it by taking deliberate actions earlier than later, especially in the direction that you may want to go in. Decisions need to be made because they do impact your future.
If you just let life happen to you, it may not be all that fun. Her advice seems to go against what most people say nowadays, such as, "You have time for that later," "Marriage and babies are for older people," "You're only You don't need a serious relationship or career," and so on.
However, I really do believe that we need to put aside these sayings that give "freedom" to twentysomethings and instead use Jay's advice and give them "responsibility for their lives. I'm taking time by the horns and taking action in the direction I want. Yuck, I will not be finishing this one. She comes across as very judgmental to both her clients and readers--I would hate to have her as my therapist! The biggest problem is she stacks everyone up against the same measures of success: If you decide to have children in your thirties or even forties, you're apparently squandering your prime baby-making years in your twenties.
She doesn't seem to factor in that maybe not everyone wants the t Yuck, I will not be finishing this one. She doesn't seem to factor in that maybe not everyone wants the typical American Dream life with a house and 2. Or maybe not everyone has the resources to achieve these things. She also seems to think that all somethings are making purposefully poor decisions about their lives.
This book is for privileged somethings who truly are wasting their time bumming around, not for somethings who are actually out there at least trying to do something.
View all 4 comments. Make your popcorn, kids, and gather round: I read a self-help book. The difference between 'I need to learn to be more assertive' and 'my retina tore in half and it's inoperable' true s Make your popcorn, kids, and gather round: The difference between 'I need to learn to be more assertive' and 'my retina tore in half and it's inoperable' true story. Because my assumption has always been that dealing with things that can be dealt with is a skill that results from all the shit you learn from the things that can't be dealt with.
This book did nothing to change my mind, since it assumes the reader doesn't have problems as I conceive of them, but instead is struggling with all that making way in the world stuff.
You know — money, a vocation, love. And the idea is to, like, talk people through adulting. Does this actually work on anybody? Because I'm assuming it's a largely useless endeavor, since all of my learning has been of the other variety.
The 'boy hospitals are quiet at 4 a. So I find it difficult to imagine that reading a book that tells you in vague terms how some anonymized case studies handled finding a career would actually help anybody. But hey, maybe I'm wrong. I've learned a shit ton from books in my life; it's just all of those books were fiction, and somehow that works so much better for me. Either way, this wasn't the book for me. Its cookie-cutter notions of what straight, able-bodied, self-doubting life looks like have very little to do with how my twenties went.
I mean, my twenties were, in retrospect, fucking insane. I crammed a massive amount of stuff into one decade, and had yet more crammed in on me. And not to put too fine a point on it, but actually, you know what?
I rocked it. I rolled that decade like a motherfucking cigarette and smoked it. I got a couple degrees and was poor and was rich and fucked a bunch of people and read amazing books and found my person and said "it's cancer, okay, coping initiated" and wrote a million words of crap and a few words of not crap and lost my eye and lost my mind and clawed it back and earned my way into an amazing one-in-a-million job and sang every day and walked away from my parents and learned and learned and learned.
And I screwed stuff up. All the time. But this book seems entirely irrelevant to that. Or to anything else I'm carrying right now. What can it possibly tell me about yesterday's negative pregnancy test that I don't already know?
Though I guess it did crystalize for me that I have done okay. And never having been asked to take stock like that before, I suppose that's nice. But really. Does this stuff actually help anybody? View all 3 comments. I found this book very helpful.
I think anyone in their twenties who don't know what they should do with their life should read this book. Jay does not say that young people in their twenties who don't have a steady job are doing it wrong, or that thinking about a career or love later in life is a bad thing. She merely states accurately that all our actions have consequences and if you want a career and children in your thirties that you should start thinking and planning those things in y I found this book very helpful.
She merely states accurately that all our actions have consequences and if you want a career and children in your thirties that you should start thinking and planning those things in your twenties. She says that your years post-graduation matter and that the executives and experienced professionals in the workplace got there by having years of work behind them. You don't turn thirty and become an experienced professional by magic, it takes work.
She also offers solid concrete wisdom on dating, marriage, finding a job, health, hobbies, and the rest.
I found her approach not off-putting but motivating. Overall a very useful book. It was as if I had my own personal psychotherapist in the comforts of my own room, spoon-feeding me the ugly truth and guiding me towards my desired pathway of success and happiness As a 20 year old young lady who is in the midst of figuring out what the hell I should really do with my life, why my romantic relationships have been debilitating, and what kind of academic and career choices I should carry It was as if I had my own personal psychotherapist in the comforts of my own room, spoon-feeding me the ugly truth and guiding me towards my desired pathway of success and happiness As a 20 year old young lady who is in the midst of figuring out what the hell I should really do with my life, why my romantic relationships have been debilitating, and what kind of academic and career choices I should carry out, I bought this on impulse to see if I could reek some beneficial advice from it.
Within two days, I finished it It wasn't another "self-help" book that repetitively drones on about the same crap we've been knowing and neither did it have pretentious diction that seemed to talk down to twenty-somethings; Meg was savvy enough to incorporate her own patient's relateble experiences and delves into them in an almost scientific way with thorough research, data, statistics, and of course There wasn't one chapter where I didn't catch myself nodding my head along with what she elaborated on I mean I could relate.
It was an honest and articulate read I highly recommend it for any young, struggling twenty-something who views their future as murky waters and needs a bit of fire under their ass. After reading this book, it'll motivate you to get that potato bum off the sofa, brush up on your resume, pursue your passion, put 10, hours into your craft to truly become a master of it I liked the first couple chapters of this book that talked about the working world and how it's really important to network and not be a loser jumping from one lame-o job to the next.
The rest of the book I am a mid-twentysomething who has worked at the same company for 7 years, first as a part-time assistant and then moved into a full-time position almost 4 years ago. I have the benefits that come with a full-time job. What I don't have is a relationship. This book made me feel horrible because it felt like she was saying "Well And you better start before your personality turns to crap!
Who cares that you have this stellar career that you are extremely passionate about and put 4 years of grad school into it? If you're not in a relationship that is on its way to married town, you suck at life!
As a graduate student in a counseling psychology program, Jay, as a clinical psychologist, made me feel like crap. As if I don't already feel the pressure from family and society to get a boyfriend, this book just added to it. I have to say that by the end, I was extremely disappointed in it. I understand the points she is making.
It does become harder to establish relationships and have children as you get older. NOW is the time to begin investing in your future life. I get that. I am on my way to that.
I think that is a great message that many twentysomethings need. I just feel like the rest of the ideas she touches on sounded condescending and made me feel like I am not where I am supposed to be. It made me feel like "Oh, crap. Have I wasted the last seven years because I haven't worked on perfecting my personality?
And as I approach my late twenties, the time I have to cement that personality is slipping away? Many people say they enjoy this book. Am I the only one who felt panic?
First off, I expected to hate The Defining Decade. Which does beg the question as to why I was reading it, but never mind that. I suspect Dr. Jay would tell me that I am doing a few things "wrong," at least in the sense of not furthering my goals, but I also learned I have probably done at least a few things righ First off, I expected to hate The Defining Decade. Jay would tell me that I am doing a few things "wrong," at least in the sense of not furthering my goals, but I also learned I have probably done at least a few things right.
Most importantly, the book offers some guidance as to how to set things right, and it didn't make me feel like I'd run out of time to make changes simply because I'm approaching The book is a quick, easy read. I could relate to many of the twentysomethings Dr. Jay profiled in her book, and the blend of anecdotal evidence with social science research appealed to me as a reader. I don't know that there's any particular reason to read this book if you're totally satisfied with your life, and I probably wouldn't recommend it if you've determined that a more conventional lifestyle career, marriage, kids, house is not for you because I doubt that the book would have very much to offer you.
If, however, you're feeling adrift and looking for some advice, this book is an honest and insightful place to start. Right book right time. Got a lot of new ideas for my coming book when reading this.
It looks like much of her research and most of the examples given were prior to the recession, when it was possible for her to talk with her clients with such ease about "getting the apprenticeship in DC" or one of the other incredibly difficult suggestions she gives for avoiding "hiding" in unemployment. My friends going through this are constantly searching out better opportunities, but are unable to find them.
When I graduated from college, I moved to the bay with my partner to be closer to her parents, and for a change of pace from the place we went to school. It was a tough job market and still is but was dramatically better than where we were coming from. I struggled for months trying to find any kind of work.
I was turned down from interesting jobs because I didn't have the experience, and turned down from crappy jobs because I was overqualified. My unemployment was mercifully brief, but left a serious impact on me. Out of the blue I got a call from a recruiter who got me a contract at a major tech company and put me on the path I am on now. He happened to see my resume on Monster, and that was that. This was after weeks and months of working my "weak ties" as Dr.
This books desperately needs to be reappraised in light of the current economic conditions facing "twentysomethings. Jay makes it seem far too easy to find the kind of jobs that build up the "identity capital" she indicates rightfully as being important to future prospects, and sections about what to do when you can't just call on a contact to get you a job, or magically find your way into a dream job would make this book more applicable and relevant to those who are coming to this book to look for guidance.
I read this one at the behest of my parents mind you. My dad won it from a radio station under mysterious circumstances. Its really short though so no biggie… The book forwarded a surprisingly intelligent view given my low expectations. It constitutes a defense and justification for living a relatively focused, disciplined, and "conservative" life during your 20s rather than treating them like throw away years in which underemployment and meaningless relationships should be pursued.
Instead, I read this one at the behest of my parents mind you. Instead, establishing yourself on a fulfilling career track as efficiently as possible, and scouting for prospective marriage partners should be on your brain.
The idea is that being active and focused in these regards during your 20s both makes you happier in the present, and sets you up for a happier and more autonomous 30sss. Its pretty obvious. So obvious in fact that I don't understand why or if anyone truly thinks differently. It is odd though, I do know a lot of people who behave similarly to the ones she describes.
Aka highly unmotivated people who aren't going to school, pursuing jobs, pursuing independent creative pursuits which can go on resumes, or doing anything much at all, and somehow think its all going to work out in the long run.
Then again I also know a lot of people in the opposite camp as well so who knows how big of a problem this actually is, eh? There are problems with the book. Mainly the genre. Didn't feel like a real psychology book, probably because its also in that kind of self help genre which inevitably seems seems trite and preachy after a while. The romance chapter was true, but less intuitively obvious so that was a plus. However, I do think she overstates the importance of marrying early.
The main reason she cites for this is so that you have a better chance of having a baby.
But having a baby which is biologically related to me seems of very little importance to my overall happiness in life, and is certainly not worth sacrificing money, career advancement, or leisure time to achieve.
I think this book is probably immensely helpful to upper class twenty-somethings who have the time, higher education, and disposable income to be traipsing mindlessly through their lives. But to actual middle- and working-class twenty-somethings you know, the vast majority of us , this book is mostly frustrating and panic-inducing.
The advice in this book boils down to: Not just any job - make sure it's a highly respected job within the field you went to school for. Meg Jay seem I think this book is probably immensely helpful to upper class twenty-somethings who have the time, higher education, and disposable income to be traipsing mindlessly through their lives. Meg Jay seems to think it's as easy as just wanting it. But not too soon. And not to the loser you're dating right now.
But, seriously, like, get this done tomorrow. There's no advice about effectively looking for and securing satisfying work when you have minimal experience in this extremely difficult economy.
She just tells you to do it. Not how - just that you should get it done. And there's zero discussion about the diminishing value of a college degree in today's work environment.
There's no advice about navigating relationships within the current shifting cultural norms. Instead, Jay pushes the boomer-style nuclear family with single-minded conviction. She does very little to outline or advise on the attitudes and choices that contribute to healthy relationships Although she does touch briefly on the difference between having lifestyles in common vs. Mostly her advice is not to live together first.
Because numbers. She also never touches on mental illness like depression and anxiety, which are hugely on the rise and in my opinion and experience a significant part of the "millennial" generation's experience. The author is a clinical psychologist, which made the lack of discussion on actual mental health really weird to me. All of the author's advice seems to based entirely on her client base of twenty-something, upper class urbanites. If you're in your twenties, living in a large urban center, single, and under-employed like virtually every single one of Jay's example clients then the fact that you're able to afford regular therapy sessions means you very obviously come from money, and are likely relying heavily on financial support from your parents.
Jay extrapolates the experiences of her sheltered, privileged clients onto the entirety of our generation and uses them to make broad, unhelpful statements about the psychological state of our generation. Very few of Jay's claims come backed from actual, cited research.
It seems to be mainly based on anecdote and personal observation. However - I gave the book two stars instead of just one for a couple reasons: There is some interesting discussion about the science of the developing twenty-something brain. That information was new to me, and I found it helpful in adjusting the way I approach my own work and personal life. The author doesn't really deserve credit for this information, since it was researched and published by other people, but I probably wouldn't have come across it if I hadn't read this book.
So I appreciated that information, and I definitely have used it to adjust some of my approaches to certain things. While I reject a large portion of the advice in this book mostly for being massively unhelpful, not necessarily for being wrong or bad , the big picture is a worth considering. After thinking on it, I spent time mapping out where I wanted to go and how I was going to get there in a more concrete and deliberate way than I had before.
I don't know that doing so really changed my course or moved me ahead at all, but I still think it was a good exercise, and do believe that it's important to have a goal that you're driving towards. In the end, though, I think the unhelpfulness and the fear-mongering get going or you're going to be a lonely, barren year-old sadsack! I don't recommend it at all. I loved this book! I think I highlighted more than a half of it: D The Defining Decade definitely struck a chord with me - it touched upon many issues I'm facing or faced quite recently, so a lot of times I was emotional and couldn't read more than a couple chapters at a time.
It's written in an engaging way - showing struggles and dilemmas through people's stories. The author also cites her sources, books and research, which is something I value and admire. Most of all I loved that it didn't co I loved this book!
Most of all I loved that it didn't contain the typical self-helpey sugar-coated bullshit like "follow your dreams" and instead addresses how to deal with a real issue of not having any dreams to pursue or the struggle of trying and finding out that your dream doesn't look as glamorous as you thought.
The book is a must read for everyone who is struggling to move on after school. Which is most of people, including me. It's divided into a number of sections: The moral here is that the twenties go by quickly.
You shouldn't take work seriously only in your early thirties, cause the more you delay taking work seriously, the harder it becomes to have a successful or at least decent careers.
Who wants to hire anyone who wasted their 20s? Commit to w The book is a must read for everyone who is struggling to move on after school. Commit to work early, and if you don't like your job, you will have opportunities to explore and adjust. Adjust early and take risks now. Make good judgements about your love life. If you are in a relationship with a person you don't want to marry, why waste time with them?
Look for someone you are likely to marry and commit to them. Yes, you'll probably live in your 30s, 40s, 50s and even 60s! Make good choices about work, life and your life. Think about the kind of life you want to have later, and start now. Want to have two kids, a successful career, and a beautiful house?
Start working toward that now. Live your life now. Think about your future now. You are young and you have a lot of potential so don't waste it! I read this book from start to finish in literally a few hours, having been sucked into its timely lessons and enlightening ideas. Being a year-old and recent college graduate starting my career, I could relate to Dr.
Meg Jay's discussions about the mindset of a twentysomething.
She uses logic, data, and experience to share the dangers that twentysomethings find themselves facing and that thinking the twenties are all about "finding ourselves" and putting off decisions and living it up " Wow. She uses logic, data, and experience to share the dangers that twentysomethings find themselves facing and that thinking the twenties are all about "finding ourselves" and putting off decisions and living it up "YOLO" is actually a terrible mistake.
Jay discusses the main topics of work, relationships, and the body and mind and how the twenties can be used more effectively in each of those areas. Many twentysomethings are completely lost, uncertain, and disillusioned by the universe we quickly find ourselves in after college and it is difficult to find true happiness and fulfillment, even if we are "enjoying ourselves" with partying, easy jobs, or off-and-on relationships.
Jay offers us a new way to approach these negative feelings and to make a plan for ourselves and our futures. I would highly recommend this book to ANYONE in their twenties, even if you feel like you have a pretty good handle on things.
Not everything in this book applied to me, but I was still able to take something away from it. Now is the time to invest in ourselves and our future--and this book was a fantastic motivator and reminder of that. I enjoyed Meg Jay's original NYT op-ed on cohabitation and put this on my reading list, though putting it off to when I thought it would be more applicable and ended up coming away pretty disappointed, This is a book in 3 parts — on work, love, and "the brain and the body".
The career advice is mostly shallow and limited. While it's a good kick in the ass, it left a lot of the why unanswered. I thought the section on navigating love was pretty good despite being shockingly presumptuous and heteronormative. As a cognitive science student, the "brain" explanations in the last section were yawn-worthy to the level of condescension. I learned some useful things about women and fertility though. It probably could have been a 10k word blog post, but here's a quick tl;dr: Lots of twentysomethings have identity crises and it's totally normal.
Think about the "identity capital" you have and don't underestimate yourself or put yourself in positions where you won't accumulate any. Your weak ties are way more important than your close friends because they're probably all similar to you [interjection: Pay attention to your "unthought thoughts" things you know about yourself but somehow forget.
Remember — you can pick your family when you're older! You have more freedom with marriage now than ever. Cohabitation before marriage is actually pretty bad and the reasons for this are baffling religion, education, politics, etc. The twentysomething brain is still kinda plastic but you'll never have quite the edge you do now. Use your neurons!
Have some goals! Hit them! Goals are good and will make your more focused and happy. Also, pay attention to your age if you want to have kids because that gets way harder as time goes on. Save yourself the time spent reading the book and buy my mother a cup of coffee.
She'll explain all of it more lucidly. View 2 comments. This book addresses some of my biggest gripes about twentysomethings especially entitlement. That being said, not all twentysomethings lack ambition or fear commitment. The chapters about work were my favourite. Otherwise the author is a bit heavy-handed on marriage, having kids and perpetuating social norms. In my opinion, her clients' stories are pretty representative of the "struggles" that twentysomethings go through.
They are all variations of people I know or stories I've heard. The social This book addresses some of my biggest gripes about twentysomethings especially entitlement. The social psychology parts were dull for me as I assume they will be for anyone with a background in it.
Phineas Gage blah blah blah, I get it. Overall, worth the read if you need some motivation, but if you're self-directed and have goals, I would probably skip it. Jul 30, N. Story time! The last one I had seemed to be working out.
She gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get my life back on track back in She helped me find the courage to move to London.