Last year was horrible. I was a recent graduate with no job prospects and no idea of where I wanted to go in life. Marriage and family was far from my mind and I was suffering from a freshly broken heart. I was at a loss and I was hurt. I felt alone in the world, as if no one could understand my feelings of despair, loneliness, and pain. On top of all that were my surmountable student loans.
Despite such heavy feelings, I worked through them, built myself up, found joy in what I had, got a job, and tried to convince myself (still trying to convince myself) that one day I will pay off my student loans. I am currently a responsible young adult who is steadfastly focused on a career in the book publishing industry. Marriage and family are still far from my mind. Next to career, my other concern is to make sure to have fun and enjoy the hell outta my twenties (haven’t been doing that due to lack of time but I’m getting there).
I began to second guess all of this the day I began reading Meg Jay’s The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now. Apparently, some things I’ve gotten right while others I need to get started on.
Right stuff: working and getting a move-on towards my career.
Things to work on: Marriage and thoughts of forming my own family.
The Defining Decade offers many valuable advices that twenty-year-olds need to take heed of. According to Jay, we have been tricked into believing that the twenties are supposed to be only about having fun and being irresponsible. We have been tricked into believing that it should be fun now and marriage and family later.
Jay advises that now is time for us, twenty-year-olds, to begin working towards the life that we want to live in the future. Don’t wait until your thirties to get a real job, look towards marriage, and consider popping out kids. We should start thinking of these things now. We should seriously consider what type of career we want and begin to work towards it while in our twenties (get a real job to put on your resume). If you want to be married in the future, it’s best to start considering partners now than waiting until thirty and beyond.
The twenties is a transforming phase. According to the book, by the time we hit thirty, we are so set in our ways that it’s a bit hard to change. Forming a bond in your twenties enables you to grow with your partner thus develop a better understanding of each other.
Also, for women, if you plan to have kids, now is the time to begin working towards that goal. The more you put it off, the harder it becomes to get pregnant and bring a baby to term. The twenties is a fertile decade. According to the book, after about 35, you chances are seriously dwindled.
While reading The Defining Decade, I couldn’t help feeling as if Meg Jay has been observing my life (college years to present). Most of the doubts that I’ve had were tackled in this book, especially the major ones that formed last year. Because of this, I recommend this book to all twenty-year-olds. It’s best to read these advices early and try to apply them.
Overall, this book was easy to read. If the points being discussed applies to you or to someone that you care about (this book was recommended to me by a close friend), then you will find it hard to stop reading. Since I am in my twenties, I found it hard to put this book down for long. There were some topics discussed (such as marriage and family) that I have not considered and have not deemed as important for right now. But this book gave me a reality check so I decided to consider what Jay says (doesn’t mean that I will act on it just yet (I still want to party and not be tied down) but I will keep the advices in mind).
- I Hate My 20s (idratherwalk.com)
- Our Roaring 20s: ‘The Defining Decade’ (NPR Books: npr.org)
- Why Your 20s Will Define You (greatlist.com