“30 Is Not the New 20″: 3 Things Every 20-Something Needs to Hear

We’ve been hearing it for some time now: 30 is the new 20. The 20’s are a throwaway decade. They don’t count. Well, erase everything you’ve heard about being a 20-something because this TED talk is going to rock your world.

Clinical psychologist Meg Jay discusses her experience working with 20-somethings over the years and makes a case for why the 20’s is the defining decade in people’s lives. Before you baulk, take a few minutes to listen to her talk and see if you are inspired to pass the video along to every 20-something you know!

Jay’s 3 biggest tips every 20-something needs to hear:

  1. Get some “identity capital.” Do something to invest in who you are and in the person you might want to become. Take a risk, learn a new skill, make a big move, pursue a challenging new job or internship.
  2. The urban tribe is overrated. Best friends are great and in some situations invaluable. But by limiting your community to a tight-knit peer group with identical beliefs and values, you will rob yourself of new experiences, ideas, and opportunities. New things come out of our weak ties, Jay says, so pay attention to those friends of friends of friends.
  3. The time to start picking your family is now. Even if you don’t “settle down” until you’re 30, the pressure to do it all at once may lead you to make less than optimal decisions. The time to work on your marriage is before you’re married. Be as intentional with love, Jay urges, as you are with work!

This doesn’t mean everyone has to settle on a career in their 20’s or that everyone needs to someday get married and have kids. And fun should not be written out of the equation, either! But as Jay’s final words seem to convey, 20-somethings’ decisions and actions are worth something, and that should be treated as an inspiration, and not a threat.

“30 is not the new 20. So claim your adulthood…Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do. You’re deciding your life right now.”

So 20-somethings out there, are you feeling inspired? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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