Summary of Why 30 Is Not the New 20

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It’s time for a reality check: Though the idea that 50 is the new 40 and 40 is the new 30 is gaining popularity, clinical psychologist Meg Jay warns that 30 is not the new 20. Yet many twentysomethings treat these years as an “extended adolescence.” Those who fail to take their careers and relationships seriously during this “defining decade” reduce their chances of success and happiness later in life. getAbstract encourages all twentysomethings to put down their smartphones, game controllers and margaritas and pay attention to Jay’s solid advice. Be warned: This frank talk may cause drifting thirtysomethings to sob uncontrollably.

About the Speaker

Clinical psychologist Meg Jay wrote The Defining Decade.



Twentysomethings are inclined to have a blasé attitude about being in their 20s. They shrug off this carefree mind-set by claiming that “30 is the new 20.” As a society, people marry later, start a family later and even die later, so taking a relaxed approach to your 20s may seem justified. But if you let your 20s idly pass you by, you may sabotage your chances of finding success and happiness later in life. In fact, your 20s are a “developmental sweet spot” and the ideal time to prepare yourself for a solid marriage and satisfying career.


More on this topic

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The Defining Decade

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    M. H. 3 years ago
    I agree too. Especially like the balance in this about personal life and career. In my fifties now and loving the fact that my 3 twenty something children are forging ahead with their own lives and my wife and I can enjoy time together as well as getting together with them when we all choose to, and have a Grandson!
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    C. V. 3 years ago
    Totally agree. Use your 20 and 30s so you can live at your 40 like a king.