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The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now Paperback – Apr 2 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Twelve; Reprint edition (April 2 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446561754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446561754
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"Any recent college grad mired in a quarter-life crisis or merely dazed by the freedom of post-collegiate existence should consider it required reading."―Slate.com, Staff Pick

"Meg Jay takes the specific complaints of twenty something life and puts them to diagnostic use."―New Yorker

"The professional and personal angst of directionless twentysomethings is given a voice and some sober counsel in this engaging guide. While Jay maintains that facing difficulties in one's 20s 'is a jarring--but efficient and often necessary--way to grow,' the author is sincere and sympathetic, making this well-researched mix of generational sociology, psychotherapy, career counseling, and relationship advice a practical treatise for a much-maligned demographic."―Publishers Weekly

"A clinical psychologist issues a four-alarm call for the 50 million 20-somethings in America.... A cogent argument for growing up and a handy guidebook on how to get there."―Kirkus Reviews

"Excellently written, this book is sensitive to the emotional life of twentysomethings."―Library Journal

"THE DEFINING DECADE [is] just the wake up call many twentysomethings need."―The Coffin Factory

"I strongly recommend THE DEFINING DECADE for anyone in their 20s trying to figure out their life's direction. You'll learn how to search productively, how to avoid being indulgent, and how to turn good opportunities into great ones."―Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do With My Life?, co-author of Nurtureshock

"Before reading THE DEFINING DECADE I didn't know enough about the importance of our twenties to be concerned that I could mess it all up. Now that I do, I could worry myself into paralysis, or, as Meg Jay suggests, grab life by the helm--even if I still have no idea in hell where I'm going. Without a doubt, The Defining Decade will leave you eager to embark on what I now see can be the most exciting odyssey of one's life."―Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, editor of My Little Red Book

"THE DEFINING DECADE is the book twentysomethings have been waiting for. It will not tell you what you should do with your life, but it will inspire, motivate, and educate you to figure it out."―Rachel Simmons, author of The Good Girl

"THE DEFINING DECADE is eye-opening, important, and a pleasure to read. I highly recommend it."―Wendy Mogel, author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B Minus

"Meg Jay brings a sharp intellect, expertise on the life cycle, and extensive clinical experience to this powerful book. Age and time, she argues, are not malleable, even if people live longer and our culture believes that everything is possible. Reading this book will benefit clinicians, cultural commentators, and twentysomethings themselves."―Nancy Chodorow, author of Individualizing Gender and Sexuality: Theory and Practice

"This fascinating, engaging book makes a convincing case that the twenties are the most transformative period of people's lives, and even better, shows readers how to get off the couch and live that decade well. It should be read by all young adults, their friends, their parents, their grandparents, their bosses, their siblings . . . really, by just about everyone!"―Timothy D. Wilson, author of Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change

"Expecting to experience the joy of freedom and self-discovery, many young men and women find instead confusion, loneliness, and anomie. Jay is just the sort of guide that these twentysomethings and their parents need: sensitive, thoughtful, and wise."―Kay Hymowitz, author of Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys

"THE DEFINING DECADE is a rare gem: a fresh, original contribution to the study of adult development that's also a pleasurable, almost effortless read."―Daphne de Marneffe, PhD, author of Maternal Desire: On Children, Love, and the Inner Life

"Blending the latest social science research with real life accounts of twentysomething clients and students, Jay provides valuable and compelling insights and direction for twentysomethings, their parents, and parents of future twentysomethings."―Leslie C. Bell, PhD, author of Hard to Get: 20-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom.

"THE DEFINING DECADE is a must read for the twentysomething who is looking to build a meaningful, fulfilling, and rich life. Dr. Jay clearly illustrates some of the biggest mistakes we can make in our twenties. But more important she gives advice about how to make decisions that will set twentysomethings up for success in the workplace and intimate relationships in their thirties and beyond."―C. J. Pascoe, author of Dude, You're a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School

"THE DEFINING DECADE does an excellent job of conveying the latest social science on twentysomething relationships and helping young adults to understand why these relationships can be so confusing and challenging...Young adults looking for insights about love, life, and marriage should turn to Dr. Meg Jay's engaging and insightful new book."―W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia

"Meg Jay masterfully blends cutting-edge research and life stories of psychotherapy clients to make a compelling case that this age period is crucial for launching love and work. You will learn a lot from this book and it will spur you to seize control of your future now."―Avril Thorne, University of California, Santa Cruz

"Listen to me closely. If you know someone already in or entering the third decade of life, or their parents, or their therapist, you must give them this book. Meg Jay slams a cultural corrective on our desk. Pay attention. The twenties are the defining decade of human life where the foundation of every future is laid...No one should turn thirty without having read this book."―J. Anderson Thomson Jr., MD; staff psychiatrist, University of Virginia, department of Student Health; co-author, Facing Bipolar: The Young Adult's Guide to Facing Bipolar Disorder

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.


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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am absolutely in love with this book! I have read approximately half of this book and I cannot recommend it enough :) There is so much wisdom and knowledge imparted in the pages. Ultimately, this book actually speaks to twentysomethings in a world where we are largely unheard or misunderstood.
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Format: Hardcover
The book makes a quick and engaging read. I literally ravished the book in under 2 hours. The author has some amazing insight about the confusion and dilemmas facing twenties years old. I am one myself and I see a lot of my friends undergo the quarter-life crisis elaborated in length in the book and I can definitely see some examples mirroring my own experiences. The style and the content of the book reminds me a lot of "Stumbling Upon Happiness" by Daniel Gilbert. The best part of the book, notwithstanding its ample real examples, is Meg Jay's advice to us twenty years old: go engage the world and take an opportunity that might seems limiting at first, but might open many doors in the future. The author also talks about the need to be "intentional" about the choices we make in our twenties, which have a life-long impact.After reading the book, I am starting to reassess my life and how to best manage my time, relationships with others, and career choices. Overall, a worth-while read and the author did a great job not sounding like a condescending preacher or make-you-feel good Dr.Phil. My only complaint is the book is a bit too short. It tries to cover a range of topics, but I would prefer it talk a bit more about specific strategies her clients have used.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jay combines current psychological theory with the real-life feelings and experiences of her clients to create a readable and practical guide to navigating one's twenties.

She covers education, career development, relationships, and brain development theory in a sensible and readable manner, and "puts a face on" each topic by reporting and examining the experiences, good and bad, of the young people who have sought her counsel.

To avoid being overwhelmed, a young person who is feeling down about his or her prospects might want to read a chapter, then take a few days to think about its content, before wading into the next one.

In short, a useful book that should spark many good discussions between young folks, their peers, and their mentors.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It helped me go through lots of obstacles in life . I understood more about myself than before. This book also taught me how to make decisions for my future. The author used lots of scientific studies to back her views up. It made the book more reliable.
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Format: Paperback
(...)

Here's some cold hard truth for you in the form of a book. Your twenties are important. And although it feels like you have time to waste, the clock is ticking and pretty soon you'll be stuck trying to have a baby, find a life partner, get a career started, and become an adult all at once. We need to get these things handled one by one in our twenties so we aren't scrambling and settling when we get into real life. Click the Youtube summary above if you still are on the fence about this book, it outlines a few key ideas from The Defining Decade.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked this up after watching Meg Jay's TED talk, and it was fantastic! From the moment I picked up the book I recognized myself in her client's stories about feeling lost, dating down, and not making decisions. She has great insight and wisdom into the topic, and gives practical steps to get yourself into the groove of making your own decisions, and practicing adult behavior. Highly recommend this book for those who feel their lives don't quite match up to what they envisioned for themselves.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a must-read for anyone in their twenties or even in their thirties. It's the kind of book that helps spark ideas and motivation, and for those in their twenties it can really help give you an idea of how to find a bit of direction and begin to develop a rough plan or destination for where you might want to end up in your thirties. Definitely a great book, I love the author and will definitely be giving this another read in 6 months or so! Highly recommend!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is invaluable to both the 20 somethings of world as well as their parents. It has so much great advise and stories that will inspire and inform. I bought 4 copies and intend to give them to the young folks in my life as they approach this most important time in their lives. It should be "required reading" in the last year of high school!!!
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