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The Defining Decade

You’ve graduated high school, finally, but what are you graduating to? You’ve heard your parents or guardian figures in your life insist that your 20’s matter, but why? Up until this point, life has had its own unique challenges, and you’ve made it to your high school graduation.


Don’t you deserve a break? Heck, maybe it’s after your college graduation (congrats, by the way). Don’t you deserve a break, now? Or maybe… maybe, you have a Master’s degree. A Master’s degree! Can you take a break and enjoy it for a while?


What happens if “a while” turns into years?


The truth is… you are what you practice. If you’re waiting till your 30’s to start taking your career seriously, or your life, you’re going to miss creating the life you want. We don’t just wake up in our 30’s with everything we thought we’d have by then—a family, a fulfilling career, a nice car. These things happen and are built up over time. And what are we doing with our time in our 20’s to build that life? Well, that is the question, isn’t it.


This blog post is in reference to a wonderful book, titled The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter—and how to make the most of them now, by Dr. Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist in Virginia.


In her book, Dr. Meg Jay details the different sections of a 20-something’s life: work, love, and the brain and body. Each section offers encouragement to 20-something’s to start getting after the life they always wanted for themselves. If we look to culture, the rhetoric is that 30 is the new 20, and being in your 20’s is almost a throw-away decade. But in reality, the truth is quite the opposite. If we use the 10 year decade of our 20’s in a thoughtful way, we CAN achieve the life we want, a better life than we’re living now. But we have to get going.


I recommend this book to all of my 20-something’s, and I encourage you to read it as well.


You got this.


Samantha Hoover, MS, LPC

Thorn & Rose Counseling, PLLC

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