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

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    Aug 29, 2012 4:23 AM GMT
    I came across this interesting article on Big Think.
    http://bigthink.com/experts-corner/is-twenty-something-the-defining-decade

    My favorite line from the piece is:
    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. 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.

    I'm around a lot of young MBAs everyday but am not really in a position to share it with them or offer advice. Thought I would post it here because I see an awful lot of forum topics from people dissatisfied with their lives, careers, romantic partners, etc.
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    Aug 29, 2012 4:25 AM GMT
    I don't want to age past 24. Forever youngicon_cry.gif
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    Aug 29, 2012 4:26 AM GMT
    That's right. 30 is not the new 20.

    40 is.

    But I don't want to relive my 20's. The drugs were awesome, but I was always broke.
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    Aug 29, 2012 4:27 AM GMT
    Frankly, I'm looking forward to my 30s. I feel like the 20s are just an extended phase of adolescence; you're still weird and trying to figure shit out.
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    Aug 29, 2012 4:34 AM GMT
    Yup. I think the 20s is the time frame where you should explore and get as much life experience as possible.
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    Aug 29, 2012 4:38 AM GMT
    I think my 30s will be my 20s, unfortunately. icon_neutral.gif
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    Aug 29, 2012 4:40 AM GMT
    Bring on my 20's icon_twisted.gif
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    Aug 29, 2012 4:43 AM GMT
    The only other addition to Dr. Jay's counsel that I would offer is the wonderful little nugget that I heard many years ago:

    You will rise or fall to the level of the 5 people that you spend the most time with.

    If I had fully understood that in my twenties, I might have better embraced the other point in the article:

    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.

    Not sure how you were (or are), but when I was in my twenties, I could have really used a better understanding of just how limited my immediate circle was. Could have really helped me better prepare for my 30s and 40s. How about you?
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    Aug 29, 2012 4:54 AM GMT
    Blah blah blah.

    Blah blah blah blah blah

    Blah blah blah

    Blah
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    Aug 29, 2012 4:56 AM GMT
    feel like i wasted my 20s...

    now that i just hit my 30s theres pressure not to make the same mistakes.
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    Aug 29, 2012 4:59 AM GMT
    I have 3 years left of my 20s. I wonder what sorts of mischief and immaturity I can get into until I have to start behaving at 30? icon_twisted.gif
  • FuriousGeorge

    Posts: 181

    Aug 29, 2012 5:13 AM GMT
    I'm always seeking balance. I feel tremendous pressure brought on by the criticisms of the older generation, calling twentysomethings "entitled, lazy, incompetent". At the same time, I recognize that I'll never be quite as able-bodied and uncommitted as I am now, so I'm trying to live it up. So I guess the trick is to prove to the world that you're ready to shoulder the burdens of society, but also find some comfort and enlightenment for yourself. Easier said than done.
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    Aug 29, 2012 5:40 AM GMT
    ChangeofName saidfeel like i wasted my 20s...

    now that i just hit my 30s theres pressure not to make the same mistakes.
    I was totally wasted in my 20's.

    And I don't regret a single toke, line, or intravenous bump.

    There's no pressure to repeat any mistake, because there were no mistakes. There were only experiences to learn from. icon_cool.gif
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    Aug 29, 2012 5:41 AM GMT
    i guess im way too conservative. was too busy taking care of everyone else.

    ah well.

    ---

    tomorrow is another day.. this city sucks balls for meeting people though.
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    Aug 29, 2012 10:05 AM GMT
    ChangeofName saidi guess im way too conservative. was too busy taking care of everyone else.

    ah well.

    ---

    tomorrow is another day.. this city sucks balls for meeting people though.


    I can relate. icon_neutral.gif Dallas sucks.
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    Aug 29, 2012 11:30 AM GMT
    I JUST turned 25 on the 16th, and this article hits some major points I've been brooding over. I feel that my late teens and early twenties were all about running wild. I had so much energy for life but no idea how to harness it. In the past two years things have changed a huge, huge amount. I'm convinced my life is on a serious upswing and I'm considering what's happening now the foundation for my adulthood. I'm sure life moves at a different pace for everyone, but I my experience has been pretty consistent with your post. icon_smile.gif

    Very cool article.
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    Aug 29, 2012 12:24 PM GMT
    I dunno. So far every decade has brought major changes and growth (as well as serious challenges) for me. I think that's how it's supposed to be, if you're doing it right.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 29, 2012 1:04 PM GMT
    Um, I would be an exception to that .. no doubt!

    icon_biggrin.gif
  • NorthChinaLi

    Posts: 241

    Aug 29, 2012 1:07 PM GMT
    i'm having my mid-20s crisis.
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    Aug 29, 2012 1:08 PM GMT
    TheGuyNextDoor said
    showme saidI dunno. So far every decade has brought major changes and growth (as well as serious challenges) for me.
    I think that's how it's supposed to be, if you're doing it right
    .

    AMEN!!!
    I have to agree. Every year is an opportunity to grow unless you're going to cry and whine like a couple of guys in this thread that tried to say Toronto and Dallas sucked at meeting people. The only thing holding guys back in a large city is themselves.
    20's were great, but then so were 30's and 40's and 50's even in a bad economy aren't too shabby. So much in life is about having a great attitude and making a life for yourself. Having entitlement issues like we see today is what holds so many good ones back.
    Believe in yourself and get on with it! Life is as fun and wonderful as you make it.
    You don't have to come from money to make money, nor do you have to come from a happy family to create your own happy family.
    It's YOUR life. Make it be what you want it to be!


    + 1,000,000 to both of you. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Aug 29, 2012 4:17 PM GMT
    Didn't relate to much of that article. Never got a job through anyone but for in my teens and 20s when I worked for neighbors or in the family biz. Since then it's been a matter of scratching at doors until they opened.

    As to one stage of life preparing for another, most of what brought on changes in my life had nothing to do with planning and preparation but with sudden tragedies and having the rug pulled out from under me. Where did I get my survival skills, from my cushy childhood?

    The deaths of my partners? Didn't plan on that. A construction accident that put me into traction? Didn't plan on that either. The betrayal of long-held, close friends? Somehow, I failed to plan for that.

    My life has been more a series of missteps and course corrections and path-finding while running through life's haphazardly placed obstacles than any sort of predetermination from an earlier age. For me life is more about thinking on your feet at the moment, not what development might have occurred at any particular age.

    What I did relate to in the article, though not the way it was relayed, is how it is more difficult to "reinvent"--a word I eschew as it strikes me more as being indicative of inconsistency and thereby lacking integrity then it does maturing though it might be--the self later in life as it seemed easier for me to switch careers in my 30s then now in my 50s. But that has less to do with my character and more to do with what life threw at me during the past few years. If it wasn't so damned depressing, I'd probably be less depressed which would make changing careers easier. But then, weren't it for life's little tragedies, I'd be sailing the world with my bud, not unfurling again into a new career.

    Life always seems to have its own plans. Predetermination not included.
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    Aug 29, 2012 4:23 PM GMT
    WhyWhySee saidI turn 25 next month at which point I will have wasted half of my 20s on education. I'm planning to cram all the fun 20s stuff into three years of globe trotting/post doc'ing between getting my PhD (when I turn 27) and getting a grown up job (when I turn 30).

    No personal offence intended, but this is the problem nowadays: The 20s have mutated into some extended adolescence.
    We all need grownup jobs, because the boomers will drain the CPP and we'll only have ourselves to depend on in old age.
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    Aug 29, 2012 4:30 PM GMT
    osakarob saidI came across this interesting article on Big Think.
    http://bigthink.com/experts-corner/is-twenty-something-the-defining-decade

    My favorite line from the piece is:
    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. [emphasis added]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. 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.

    I'm around a lot of young MBAs everyday but am not really in a position to share it with them or offer advice. Thought I would post it here because I see an awful lot of forum topics from people dissatisfied with their lives, careers, romantic partners, etc.


    THIS IS SO TRUE!!! I wish I had done what I had planned and gotten a Ph.D. in my 20s. It would have changed the course of my life. Instead, I was lazy, self-indulgent, and having a pity party for myself for being gay. It changed my whole career and trajectory. While I still had enough education to make it as a financial planner, I will never be able to have an impact on academia.

    Listen to what this man says and apply it, particularly to education! Be sure you leave your 20s with at least one advanced degree! I don't care if it's an MBA, a JD, an MD, or a Ph.D., you can't hope to achieve much in America today without an advanced degree -- unless you're like Paul Ryan and have a family trust.
  • SoDakGuy

    Posts: 1862

    Aug 29, 2012 4:35 PM GMT
    What happened to me in my 20s influenced how I am in my 30s, but it doesn't define who I am.
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    Aug 29, 2012 4:41 PM GMT
    bullshit - I'm closing in on 30 and I am *just* figuring out what I finally wanna do with my life as far as a career goes (I think anyways). The new career I got in March is gold! As for meeting my future spouse - highly unlikely to happen before I'm 30. I hate this article lol

    Although I will say I have met the man of my dreams... now it's just a matter of sweeping him off his feet and making him mine icon_twisted.gif