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ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think

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Thirty Is Not The New Twenty: Why Your 20s Matter

by Dr. Meg Jay August 6, 2012, 12:00 AM

8/7/13

ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think

WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think The best and worst part about being

The best and worst part about being a twenty-something is that every decision you make can change the rest of your life. Once you're in your 30's or 40's, it gets harder and harder to reinvent yourself. In this Q&A with Dr. Meg Jay, the clinical psychologist explains why the twenties matter, and how to make the most of them. -- Megan Erickson, Ed.

Big Think: Why are the 20s so important?

Dr. Meg Jay: Our 20s are the defining decade of adulthood. 80% of life's most defining moments take place by about age 35. 2/3 of lifetime wage growth happens during the first ten years of a career. More than half of Americans are married or are dating or living with their future partner by age 30. Personality can change more during our 20s than at any other decade in life. Female fertility peaks at 28. The brain caps off its last major growth spurt. When it comes to adult development, 30 is not the new 20. Even if you do nothing, not making choices is a choice all the same. Don't be defined by what you didn't know or didn't do.

BT: You write about several cases of recent grads who feel they're drowning or floundering around in the world waiting for something to happen. Has it always been this hard to thrive in early adulthood?

MJ: No. There are 50 million 20somethings in the United States most of whom are living with a staggering, unprecedented amount of uncertainty. Many no idea what they will be doing, where they will be living, or who they will be with in 2 or 10 years. They don't know when they'll be happy or when they will be able to pay their bills. They wonder if they should be photographers or lawyers or event planners. They don't know whether they are a few dates or many years from a meaningful relationship. They worry about whether they will have families or whether their marriages will last. Most simply, they don't know whether their lives will work out and they don't know what to do. Uncertainty makes people anxious and distraction is the 21st-Century opiate of the masses. So too many 20somethings are tempted, and even encouraged, to just turn away and hope for the best. That's not the way to go.

BT: One of the main themes in the book is the line between thinking and doing. You argue that it's more important to just do something than to waste years dreaming up the perfect path. How can 20-somethings to put this idea into action?

MJ: One of my favorite quotes is by American Psychologist Sheldon Kopp: "The unlived life isn't worth examining." Too many 20somethings have been led to believe that their 20s are for thinking about what they want to do and their 30s are for getting going on real life. But there is a big difference between having a life in your 30s and starting a life in your 30s. Even Erik Erikson, the father of the identity crisis, warned that young adults who spent too much time in "disengaged confusion" were "in danger of becoming irrelevant." If you want to be more intentional at work and in love,

8/7/13

ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think

try working in a field you're curious about.

Try dating someone who is different from that last person who turned out to

be a disaster, and try conducting yourself a bit differently while you're at it. Sure the 20s are for experimenting, but not just with philosophies and vacations and substances. The 20s are your best chance to experiment with jobs and relationships. Then each move can be more intentional and more informed than the last. BT: How do you suggest they track their progress toward their future goals? Are milestones like 21 and 30 important? MJ: Absolutely. Milestones--21, 25, 30, New Year's, birthdays, reunions--are important because they trigger self- reflection. Am I where I wanted to be by this age? Did I do what I said I would do this year? If not, why not. And if not now, when? A savvy 20something who interviewed me recently told me about a question she was advised to ask herself as she moved through adulthood: "If you keep living your life exactly as it is, where will you be in 3 years?" If you don't like the answer, now is the time to change course.

One way to keep yourself honest about the future is by making a timeline. At what age would I like to be out of this dead-end job? By when do I hope to be married? How old do I want to be when I try for my first child? How old do I want to be when I try for that last child? It may not be cool to have a timeline, or to admit to having a timeline, but you don't have to etch it in stone. It's just a way of thinking about how your life might, or might not, be adding up.

Besides, do you know what's not cool? Sitting across from the 30somethings who cry in my office every week because they've run out of time to have the careers and the families they now realize they want. They look at me and say about their 20s, "What was I doing? What was I thinking?"

BT: About 25% of recent grads are unemployed, and 25% are underemployed. What is your advice for those who simply can't find a job?

MJ: Yes, half of 20somethings are un- or underemployed. But half aren't, so my first piece of advice is to figure out how to get yourself into that group. Most often, the way to do this is through what is called "the strength of weak ties." The strength of weak ties is from sociologist Mark Granovetter's work on social networks. What he found was that new information and opportunities usually come from outside of our inner circle. That foot-in-the-door at the company where you want to work isn't going to come from your best friends--your strong ties--or you would already be working there. That job lead is going to come from weak ties, or from people you hardly know. Email your aunt's neighbor or that old professor or your roommate's friend from college.

That's how people are getting jobs--especially good jobs--even in a tough economy. Most 20somethings hate the idea of asking outsiders for favors, but those who won't do this fall behind those who will. 20somethings who sit on the sidelines because of a bad economy will never catch up with those who figured out how to get in the game.

For those 20somethings who already have jobs but who are underemployed, it is crucial to remember that not all underemployment is the same. Be sure you have a job that is allowing you to earn some form of identity capital. Maybe you have a low-rung job at a hot company that adds value to your resume. Maybe you're ringing up health food so you can devote your mental efforts to cramming for the LSAT at night. Whatever you're doing should make the next thing you'd like to try seem more possible.

BT: How can 20somethings reclaim their status as adults given all the cultural trends working against them?

MJ: Don't let culture trivialize your life and work and relationships. Don't hang out only with people who are drinking the 30-is-the-new-20 kool-aid. I cannot tell you how many emails I have received from 30somethings since The Defining Decade came out, ones in which the writer says something like, "I used to roll my eyes at my peers who were determined to meet benchmarks--graduate school, real relationships, decent-paying jobs that reflect their interests--on time or early. Now I'm envious and admiring of them. Now I'm working twice as hard for half the result." Don't shrug your shoulders and say, "I'm in my 20s. What I'm doing doesn't count." Recognize that what you do, and what you

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ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think

don't do, will have an enormous impact across years and even generations. You're deciding your life right now.

BT: As a clinical psychologist, what advice do you have for coping with emotions like anxiety which inevitably arise during times of economic uncertainty?

MJ: Given that life and the brain change so much across our 20s, this is the perfect time to learn new coping strategies. It's not okay to go to work with scars on your arms from cutting, it's not acceptable to scream at friends when things go wrong, and live-in girlfriends get tired of seeing us stoned every night. These are the years to learn to calm yourself down. Gain some control over your emotions. Sure, there's Xanax, which a recent conference presenter I heard only half-jokingly called "Jack Daniels in a Pill." But practice calming techniques that can work over the long run: exercise, therapy, mindfulness, yoga, cognitive meditation, deep breathing, healthy distraction, dialectical behavior therapy. Use your rational mind to counter the anxious and catastrophic thoughts you have: "I probably won't be fired because I dropped one phone call." Try to create your own certainty by making healthy choices and commitments that off-set the upheaval in the world around.

BT: We loved this quote: "Claiming a career and getting a good job isn't the end, it's the beginning." Can you explain this a bit?

MJ: Most 20somethings are terrified of being pinned down. They're afraid that if they choose a career or a job, they are closing off their other options and somehow their freedom will be gone and their lives will be over. In fact, getting a good job is the beginning. It's the beginning of not hating that question, "What do you do?" It's the beginning of having something on your resume that might help you get that next job you want even more. It's the beginning of not overdrawing your bank account because of a flat tire. It's the beginning of feeling like you could actually think about dating since your time isn't taken up working those three part-time jobs you have in order to avoid a "real job." Research shows that getting going in the work world is the beginning of feeling happier, more confident, competent, and emotionally stable in adulthood.

BT: Can you discuss some of the current neurobiological research, and how that impacted your writing?

MJ: By now probably everyone has heard that the teen brain is not fully developed and that the frontal lobe--the part of the brain where we plan for the future and tackle questions that don't have black-and-white answers--does not reach full "maturity" until sometime during our 20s. Unfortunately, this fact about the late-maturing frontal lobe has been interpreted as a directive for 20somethings to wait around for their brains to grow up. The real take-home message about the still-developing 20something brain is that whatever it is you want to change about yourself, now is the easiest time to change it. Is your 20something job, or hobby, making you smarter? Are your 20something relationships improving your personality or are they reinforcing old patterns and teaching bad habits? What you do everyday is wiring you to be the adult you will be. That's one reason I love working with 20somethings:

They are so darn easy to help because they--and their brains and their lives--can change so quickly and so profoundly.

Advertising

lives--can change so quickly and so profoundly. Advertising More from the Big Idea for Monday, August

More from the Big Idea for Monday, August 06 2012

8/7/13

ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think

In your 20's, and feeling like you're lost at sea? You're not alone. Approximately half of all recent graduates are

unemployed or underemployed. But the answer to your woes isn't more floundering

answer to your woes isn't more floundering Read More… by Dr. Meg Jay How to Rewire
211 comments ★ 180 Leave a message NNeewweesstt CCoommmmuunniittyy SShhaarree ⤤⤤ ⚙ ⚙
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Leave a message
NNeewweesstt
CCoommmmuunniittyy
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Sarah

good article - and to the critics - she isn't saying that your life is going to be terrible if you aren't where you want to be in your 30's -- she just wants 20 somethings to realize that this decade is still an important one in adult development and that 20 somethings should use this time to experiment and try new things but still try to go towards something that is important to them. she's not saying if it doesn't work out you failed at life - you still have gained those experiences that will make you the person you want to be in the long run.

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A.J. Quinones

24-Male-Single:

This article was perfection.

It was a general diagnosis of the "20somethings"'s psychological tendency in the current state of

affairs. (Economy, social interaction, decision making skills in the world, introspection

The truth is not well received by those unwilling to accept it i.e. 30somethings. This (the article) should

be taken as FACT. There will be those who argue exceptions to the case

error of thinking regards believing things will just "work themselves out". Most "20somethings" believe all will be handed to them. A condition quite common. ACTION in this decade (the 20's) is the most

essential aspect to consider. It is very easy to become distracted and to procrastinate. And yes, I am writing this at 3 in the morning. 30 is really not the new 20. There are no excuses.

)

but

it was meant to stop the

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8/7/13

ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think

found this article to be pretty negativeWhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think Emma I • 3 months ago I

Emma

I

I

mean OK, there are some

good parts in that it encourages young ones in their 20s to do the most of it, but in general it pretty much paints a gloomy picture for people over 30. I am a living proof that experimenting and trying new things in your 20s does not guarantee necessarily a good outcome, just as much that reinventing yourself after 50 is very much possible. So my facts do not add up to those of this article. Plus in my humble opinion there are many debatable views in there regarding when is the best time to do what and how. I believe it is different for everybody and no useful rules can be made about it. Having said that I do agree that sitting idle in your 20s and pondering for ages what to do is no good , simply because time flies and we miss the opportunity to try something that may end up very positive for us ,which is good, or negative which is again good for the 20 something because it is a learning experience. I think that is where the difference lies, that there are more things at stake when risking something when older than when younger due to time available ahead to rectify whatever mistakes and turn things around.

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deepsea mistakes and turn things around. △ ▽ Reply Share › • 3 months ago at 25

at 25 im finished two BAs, did business grad school and now work for a 14BN global company in London. I will do NYC or HK next year w the firm and have lived in LA, Beijing 2 years in undergrad. speak 4 languages and am an EU-US resident. all cool on the "career" and "travel" side, but now w a stable job i feel something/one is missing.

i got the confidence and stability, but am more and more looking to find a serious girl next to me, tired of clubbing and hookups. i found that as a male, we can be very rich and very successful, but finding the right one is almost as important. although still think (sorry) that men got a leeway, no rush in terms of marriage and family starting, maybe 35-40 when time may be ticking.

for me, finding the right one is on the agenda in the next 2-5 years.

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well at age 34. I have done many things and worked hard. Ended up getting burned and with nothing. From this article i get the impression there is nothing i can do. This helps my case for suicide. Sorry world. It is a permanent solution to a permanent problem. And "going to get help". Ie mental hospital is pretty much life suicide in itself. Goodbye cruel world. You are selfish. Not me pretty much life suicide in itself. Goodbye cruel world. You are selfish. Not me

Trevor33

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OK I don't know if this people are still reading this response section or not, but I just want to add my 5 (50?) cents. It is insane to believe, I mean really truly believe, that you can only find your true love in your 20s, or that there even IS such a thing as a ONE true love, or that you can or should shieldNot me Trevor33 • 5 months ago 5 △ ▽ Reply Share › GWiz • 6

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ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think

yourself from experiences (people, careers, etc) that can define you past your 20s. Human experience and the human psyche is so complex and so forever-evolving , that it is impossible, and if you ask me ill-advised, to remain stuck in some rut you created for yourself in your 20s. Be a life long learner - THAT'S what's important. Take this article as a bit of motivation, if that kind of thing works for you, but accompanied by TRUCKLOADS OF SALT. Peace.

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"Sitting across from the 30somethings who cry in my office every week because they've run out of time to have the careers and the families they now realize they want."by TRUCKLOADS OF SALT. Peace. 1 △ ▽ Reply Share › EcoGrrl • 7 months ago

EcoGrrl

Doc, you're an asshole. Once you're in you're 30's you no longer have time to have a family or a career? Beyond the fact that this is complete and utter bullshit, it's completely tasteless and offensive.

Thank GOD I didn't start breeding in my 20's. Thank GOD I didn't feel the obvious pressure you must have felt about your career in your 30's.

And yes - DUH - I'm 39 and starting on my 3rd career. And there's zero crying involved. AND my ovaries are still pumpin' out eggs.

Who'da thunk, with all that crying

My 20's were fun, but my 30's were INCREDIBLE. Every decade has meaning.

12

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Still in my twenties, but spent more than half of it trying to manage chronic illness and learning disorders (diagnosed in my twenties) and other co-morbid disorders that impacted and still impact most areas of my life significantly. Because of that I feel a lot younger than most people my age,Every decade has meaning. 12 △ ▽ Reply Share › Penny_lane • 7 months ago having

Penny_lane 7 months ago

having missed out on a lot of things. Life doesn't always work out according to your carefully made plans. The challenges I face on a daily basis makes me just grateful to be able to be in a job, it's an accomplishment in itself. I'm a late bloomer, and to say that you have to have your whole life worked

out by age 30 in an age where we are living up to our 80s and 90s

of who you are, where you're headed- and not fritter your time away- what is worthwhile in this life can

only be defined by yourself, and not through societal norms ( i must have X career, 2.5 kids as we're alive and kicking, we are still capable of learning and growing.

It's always good to have a sense

). As long

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Ashley good to have a sense ). As long 5 △ ▽ Reply Share › • 7

My 20s have been a complete nightmare. Everything I planned fell through. My close childhood friends died during my final exams in college. I'm now working a minimum wage job making less money than when I was a high school student. Each attempt at a relationship with supposedly "nice guys" ended in my having to file restraining orders. In fact, I've given up on romantic relationships altogether; they're too much of a hassle and frankly, not worth it.

So now this article is telling me that it's easiest to accomplish my goals during my 20s and that I will

8/7/13

ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner |

Big Think

have to work twice as hard to accomplish the same things in my 30s? I guess I'm screwed then. I didn't slack off during my 20s and party. I worked and did my best to ensure a sound financial future, but things don't always work out the way you planned. You don't get to have your way in life just because you work hard.

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jimmy mg just becau se you work hard. 3 △ ▽ Reply Share › • 7 months ago

try to discover and learn. love what you do. take a moment every now and then to reflect. then move on. love your family and friends. like wats mentioned below, theres no timeline just guidelines. so many things come unpredicted. i have witnessed so much departures in my life n you know what? just be happy. no plan lasts that long. find something you love n work at it till ur 80 n beyond.

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your mother 8 months ago your mother •

I ain't buying any of this bullshit. I know exactly what I'm gonna do when I'm 30, 40 and 50. I'm 28, I got a shit job, and no friends. 50 years more to go. Yeah, let's pretend like the first 20% of your life defines the other 80%. Great advice thar lady of institution. I know exactly what I want to do, and am gonna do

it. F*ck the rest. Do what you wanna do. Just remember with age comes cultural expectations

even then

but

f*ck 'em

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eve n then but f*ck 'em △ ▽ Reply Share › lynnbedford > your mother •

So, you plan to be an angry, bitter old man?

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to be an angry, bitter old man? 1 △ ▽ Reply Share › Renjick > lynnbedford

Better than a sanctimonious hack.

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Bet ter than a sanctimonious hack. △ ▽ Reply Share › mindchatter > Renjick • Why

mindchatter > Renjick

Why not both?

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After reading this, I think that life is what you make of it. I don't After reading this, I think that life is what you make of it. I don't care for what society tells me to have.

htn

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All points where your choices are made by conventional environment experiences, are ultimately confined by the nuances of society.me to have. htn 4 △ • 8 months ago ▽ Reply Share › Å res_Zues_T

For Example: If your parents (Pre-baby boomers) one day looked at the clock and figured, 'well there's plenty of time'! while also considering that some observations were too unconventional for their snap judgement. They chose for all of you! With in their conventional experiences that don't match the reality that any of them have experienced previously. So, these children grow up with a DELUSION! If those people happen to be (Pagan name change to

face the fire

Christians) Of Ostrich format of handlin

issues when it's their descendants that actuall

8/7/13

ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think

, (No Statute of limitations, Universal law.) Then your choice patterns have already been reduced

(brought up to ultimately fail), and you haven't even figured out how to use the toilet yet. Not only do you enter this world contending with the completely ILLOGICAL comprehension of reality. They tell you, that a Clingon said it was the future USA, so you can really perpetuate that PERCEPTUAL

SKEWITY. Sorry, to inform you

g

y

. That is just totally IRRATIONAL.

That is just one area or example of choice patterns naturally being widdled down for you. The next level or color if you will, is the format of a 'layer cake'. Simply, a concealed environment that doesn't understand the actual interjection of the Unconventional Scenario and power of governance they face, is beyond the bounds and point of time assumed. As I have stated before in other posts, '1 layer of

As I have stated before in other posts, '1 layer of △ ▽ Reply Share ›
As I have stated before in other posts, '1 layer of △ ▽ Reply Share ›

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There are variable levels of the neurological and natural cognitive realization or awakening. Each like aposts, '1 layer of △ ▽ Reply Share › see more NietLupKaBoomSKY • 8 months ago

NietLupKaBoomSKY

simple step, in the right direction. Å Phenomena that can't be forced

of poker

. Either you Got the cauds or you don't

\.

. Much like the straight up game

The rest is up to Cause and Affect. Åres

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In Quantum Physics, some things are static. It just depends on how many times Unique and com prehensive individuals like my self can count to 1. I won! comprehensive individuals like my self can count to 1. I won!

148!!09

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'Age is just distance on a poisoned or healthy open mind' You gotta get there for it to be an issue; What the mind of a 3 year old doesn't comprehend about their world and is much more important.1. I won! 148!!09 • 8 months ago △ ▽ Reply Share › NietLupKaBoomSKY • 8

NietLupKaBoomSKY

What do ya say? Do you think this about characterizes the general large scale groups view and

actions externally, from a behavioral read perception

.

The people that made bad decisions from an earlier point advocate a following to feel better about their own pathological psychosis or what is considered a small security blanket with night light kit? And if that is the perception, would you also say that at the current point (while completely established as time complacent) that the actions with in society are diminishing socially as an over all ethical view.

Where instead of careful consideration to the over all cause and effect

fish on a line weaving in all different directions just grasping onto any thing that it can would be the norm from even those advocated as experts. thus, you could postulate a Geo Political picture based in not only comprehension, but a global and focused behavioral intent. I mean if you catch a country that

calls itself an ally converting a large portion of currency into stronger international currencies does that mean? Now, if you could read all that just by the medias response or lack there of

be logical to say that this is a result of ignoring the foundation and structure of law it self. Would you

not logically come to that conclusion your self as an expert, that may or may not be requested to

It mirrors more of a paranoid

\. What . It would

to It mirrors more of a paranoid \. What . It would
to It mirrors more of a paranoid \. What . It would

8/7/13

ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think

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this lady sounds like an idiot. this lady sounds like an idiot.

Someperson 9 months ago

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this woman has an answer for quite a bit• 9 months ago △ ▽ Reply Share › see more Timmybbify13 • 9 months ago

Timmybbify13 9 months ago

eh?

She needs to chill out and realize we all go at different

paces. I know plenty of people who found what they love to do, new hobbies, adventures, loves far after "wasting" their 20's having fun, traveling, drinking quality beer, etc. I wonder if this doc ever truly lived

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if this doc ever truly lived 4 △ ▽ Reply Share › Renjick > Timmybbify13 •

You need to generalize to sell books.

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What if you do get married, have kids and get a certain career and you realize one or all of those were a mistake? I'm sure being newly divorced and sharing custody of the kids at age 30 is loads of fun. I'm also sure it's pretty easy to leave your job or go back to school and find something better when you have a mortgage and mouths to feed. The first ten years of your career are crucial to how much you earn in your lifetime? I'm sure having kids won't affect that, either. Seriously, how many of these people do you encounter in your practice? Because I encounter them pretty often in my life, and perso nally I'd rather learn from their serious mistakes than my own. personally I'd rather learn from their serious mistakes than my own.

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Starting my life around 30 so joining the military young and now being 28 in this civilian lifestyle your saying I wasted my twenties by going around the world literally traveling and starting school now I'veLeigh Stefan • 9 months ago 6 △ ▽ Reply Share › Dacritic83 • 9 months

Dacritic83 9 months ago

wasted my time or life, thanks for the words of encouragement Doc

although I dislike this article it is informative. Male minds fully mature at 27 and females at 22

Age ain't nothing but a number,

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Timelines are a terrible, terrible idea and I hate the fact that this article encourages them. They're also restrictive and if a person has ticked off all major life goals by 35, quite frankly, they will be the world's boringest 36 year old.ain't nothing but a number, 3 △ ▽ Reply Share › No • 9 months ago

No

Then again, if a person only has get married, have babies and find job as a life goal, then they haven't really got a great basis to start from anyway

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This is a Marketing scheme tailored to individuals in their 20's who live in feargreat basis to start from anyway 6 △ ▽ Reply Share › Bob Marley • 10

Bob Marley

8/7/13

ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think

life is great forever

How about this,

Jack Lalane pulls 70 boats on 70th birthday - YouTube Nola(Hill) Ochs: 95 yr old college graduate Julia Child: at 36 started cooking school Rodney Dangerfield: In his 40's his acting took off

My established CEO founded an amazing career totally unrelated to his early fields in his early 40's. My grandfather didn't taste American freedom until his mid 30's and became very successful in his

40's.

Research also points that different parts of the brain peak through-out life. For example in theory 48 is the prime age for physicists.

so don't bull yourself, or get depressed, live life to the fullest the way you want to live it and however it

makes you happy. If a timeline helps you, go for it

yourself, nothing more and nothing less

ones you fight with-in yourself, not what society deems pertinent for you.

if living life loosely works then do that. Be

the only important battles you should worry about are the

one love

28

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You forgot Lucy Mercer: successfully had a child in her late 50s. Oh what? That never happened? Ohhhworry about are the one love 28 △ ▽ Reply Share › Jack > Bob Marley

Jack > Bob Marley

There are some biological timelines, however things like job success and marriages can happen at any age. I don't think the Dr is suggesting they can't. She's just saying it gets harder.

Tiger > Bob Marley • > Bob Marley

Thanks a lottt

!!!

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This article was total bull and it got me to the point of depression, thinking that I wasted my life or something (I am 27 btw) This response was soo balanced that it actually lifted me up. Thanks a lot again.

that it actually lifted me up. Thanks a lot again. 4 △ ▽ Reply Share ›

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Jack > Tiger

You have a simple mind.

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AMEN! thank you for your balanced response. i was starting to feel bad about myself after readin g her berating rhetoric reading her berating rhetoric

Mob Barley > Bob Marley

8/7/13

ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think

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Someperson > Bob Marley • > Bob Marley

that was a fantastic response

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Than k YOU Thank YOU

Hel3122 > Bob Marley

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Sowaitaos △ ▽ • Reply 10 months ago Share › Dominic • 10 months ago then

Dominic

then what are those of us who have wasted our 20's suppose to do now?

I'm turning 30. My teens and 20's were horrible years of being bound by depression and anxiety.

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I'm anxious just from reading the article above because i'm 29 turning 30 and taking time off from a full time job due to anxiety and the timeline thing doubles the pressure of getting a stable job . job.

Orianawang38 > Dominic

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Dominic, I'm 54 and have had anxiety and depression all my life. I didn't find Paxil for panic attacks until my 40's. But I've had good jobs after my 20's and am looking for a new adventure now in my 50's. I got married, my son is 26 and still trying to find himself. I guess what I'm trying to say is that no doctor has an exact answer that's why there still practicing, but you don't have to have your 20's perfect or even great to still suceed. I wish doctors would'nt write articles like this because there simply wrong and I'm living proof of it. Do what you love, start doing it at any age, hopefully your anxiety and depression are better now, and just keep going forward. No one person knows whats best for everyone, so try to be positive and ignore people with deadlines- they are just simply wrong. Here's to you doing absolutely fantastic with your l ife! your life!

denvermom > Dominic

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Dominic • 10 months ago 7 △ ▽ Reply Share › SUN > denvermom • 10

Good to hear. I'm turning 31 soon and have little to how for. I've done something I'm very proud of but that is in the past. I can only focus on "Now" and my Future. 31 is my starting point. An age this article and many feel you should be self-reliant and on your way. I'm going to take action and stay in motion and with work and maybe a little luck, will find my way to what I want/wish in life. The alternative is not kind so I have to stay positive.

8/7/13

ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think

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SUN > SUN • > SUN

Correction: "little to SHOW for."

Adding in: Although this article can be used as a great wake-up call to get people in their teens to make sure their 20's are used wisely, to make sure

those in their 20's wake up and focus

20's to change your life for the better. Sure, it may be harder and time isn't on your side but it is possible. Don't waste today. You only live once. Focus on YOU and forget what people say you should be doing. Stay focused and live your life and get what you want. And maybe, a little luck will come your way because you made a decision and took action.

I

do think it is possible even after your

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After all, if you are in your 30's and older, you have two choices: Change and go after what you want or keep living the way you are now living a life you don't want to live. You are dead already. So go do something about it. You have to do it n ow. I'm off. Wish everyone luck. it now. I'm off. Wish everyone luck.

SUN > SUN

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what about people who are severely ill during their twenties and are not able to actually start their lives til their thirties? are they supposed to just kill themselves? having a timeline is more harming than helping, in my opinion, especially concerning finding "the one" and starting a family. what if it doesn't happe n by the time you planned? it will give you anxiety and depression happen by the time you planned? it will give you anxiety and depression

potatoetoe

11

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potatoetoe • 10 months ago 11 △ ▽ Reply Share › Ori > potatoetoe • 9

Ori > potatoetoe

Totally feeling what you just said.

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20s omethings to wait around for their brains to grow up 20somethings to wait around for their brains to grow up

Mike

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8/7/13

ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think

WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think Guest △ ▽ • 10 months ago

Guest

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Guest △ ▽ • 10 months ago Reply Share › jiujingg • 10 months ago http

While I appreciate that this interview is trying to inspire people to use make the most of their time, I just hate how this interview even mentions the notion of a timeline in regards to relationships and children. Does this Dr. Meg Jay realize that not everything, especially events that you can't exactly orchestrate or control (like meeting your spouse), happens according to a clock? These types of aspirations aren't something you can map out and then execute like it's a step-by-step to-do list. Sometimes, when applying for college, you don't get in. Sometimes when working towards a career you think you want, you find yourself not "in love" with this work. There are also times when you have to take a job because you HAVE to take that job to support yourself - regardless of if it's make you "smarter" or benefiting you. Then what? Not hitting every mark sometimes happens because that's just what happens. It's not always from wandering through life, refusing to commit, and waiting around for something to happen.

Yes, of course, have goals! But this article makes it seem like if you don't achieve these things and have your life figured out in a specific time frame, that's it. It's over. While you have control over some things, like working hard during school, doing your best to earn that degree, and doing what you can for a job opportunity (like deciding to call in any favours), you don't have that same control over all life events. This is true for any age.

'

13

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for any age. ' 13 △ ▽ Reply Share › see more Monica > Aurelia •

Monica > Aurelia

I think you are taking it too cynically. This article is not meant to be a bible to your life, like you said it’s trying to inspire people. Even if everyone who reads this article goes home and draws this timeline (which I doubt cause most people won't take it as seriously or literally), it’s still a good thought to have in the back of the mind. You should think of it more as a tool to help those who have trouble reflecting or organizing emotional chaos. The actual impact of the timeline

drawn today has little effect on your actual life tomorrow

years

of us are moving through life in an extremely fast paced environment we all think we want everything: career, family, children, anything and everything good in existence. But when you actually stop to think "like drawing a timeline" (or million other way) the sooner we realize its impossible to have it all. Then we can move on and ask ourselves "What we NEED" "why we need" and "how much we need" [Priority]. If you find yourself wanting everything and not feeling satisfied after attaining what you thought you wanted (like you mentioned in your reply “not 'in love with this job' ", this would have been a great way to lessen the emotional destress sooner

in a year

in 5 years

in 10

etc

What it does affect is our habit to take control of how we feel about our life. Most

'

8/7/13

ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think

than later. Anyways what Im trying to get at is all this article is doing is to inspire and promote THOUGHTS! Plans change more often than not, most people already know that, experienced that and accept that but it DOES NOT ever mean you should stop planning. At least this is what I took from the article, the issue with our 20s is not necessarily LIFE itself, but actually our

20s is not necessarily LIFE itself, but actually our 2 △ ▽ Reply Share › Aurelia

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I liked a lot of what you said in your reply (ie. never stop planning, plans are likely to change, etc), but I feel that this article is trying to limit this kind of "life planning" to our twenties when we might not know the answers until after a series of trial and error - a process that could take us beyond that decade.

I liked the questions you suggested we ask ourselves and believe they can be helpful to try and trim our lists of aspirations (however, what if we still don't know the answer?). A general timeline is great for trying to plan out things like school, degrees - stuff you tend to have more control over (barring any sudden emergencies, it's more of a choice of how hard you want to work towards completing that degree). I agree that it does provide a sense or direction. On the other hand, things like "I need to find a husband by x age and have children by x age!" That, in my experience and even my anxiety counsellors have told me, can be more hurtful than helpful.

So I disagree on the impact a timeline can have on your future. I believe trying to control things like finding your spouse, having kids, etc. by mapping it out on a timeline exceptionally stressful. What happens if it doesn't turn out that way? It can result in such massive disappointment and anxiety. I'm only talking from my own experience of

'

I'm only talking from my own experience of ' Lisa • 2 △ ▽ 10 months

Lisa

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"We have to create culture, don't watch TV, don't read magazines, don't even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you're worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you're giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic med ia so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told 'no', we're unimportant, we're peripheral. 'Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.' And then you're a player, you don't want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that's being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.” -Terence McKenna (1946-2000)

10

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8/7/13

ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think

8/7/13

ThirtyIs Not The NewTwenty: WhyYour 20s Matter | Experts' Corner | Big Think

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