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The Defining Decade with Author, Dr. Meg Jay

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

This week on Party’s Over Podcast, we had the chance to interview Dr. Meg Jay - yes, we said DR. MEG JAY, Author of The Defining Decade, the book we’ve been raving about since the very beginning of the podcast. Meg is a Clinical Psychologist and an Associate Professor of Human Development at the University of Virginia where she specializes in twentysomethings. She earned a doctorate in clinical psychology and in gender studies from the University of

California, Berkeley. And, as you know, she is the author of not only The Defining Decade, but also Supernormal.

The Defining Decade is all about how to make the most of your twenties, similar to Party’s Over Podcast, where we are figuring things out in this era of our lives and sharing what we are going through with you. This book has altered our twenties for the best and altered our podcast to turn it into so much more than we ever dreamed. Who knew we would now have Dr. Meg Jay as a weak tie?!

We have said a few times that one of the hardest transitions after college is the lack of structure and lack of knowing things will adjust every four months like they did in school. Meg has always been in that structure and doesn’t see herself functioning outside of a school setting.

“That's actually a huge cognitive shift for 20 somethings that understandably, in their whole life before graduation, they've thought in semester sized chunks. You make choices, but then you get to remake them, you know, 17 weeks later, in terms of what are my classes? And what are my teachers and what are my hours? Then, you go into the workforce, and you feel like you’re thinking in much longer chunks and that can be really intimidating.” - Dr. Meg Jay

Meg shares with us what her twenties were like, switching colleges and subjects trying to find the right fit. People told her a psychologist was a hard road ahead and she wouldn’t make money, but she knew she would be the most successful at what she enjoyed the most. We came to the realization that, if she had not, we were have never had the chance to read this book and have this interview.

In college, she knew she loved psychology, but didn’t know what she wanted to specialize in. In grad school, she learned of a field called adult development. She thought “what?! I thought adults were already developed, what is this?!” In her trainings, she worked with every age group and this made her discover that she loved working with college students & people in their twenties.

“Meanwhile, I was learning what was pretty recent research about some of the sweet spot developmental things that are happening in your 20s. Your brain is changing, and you're getting that first job and you're, believe it or not, somewhere in the next 10 years or so might pick your partner and figure out where you're going to live. I realized, so much that's foundational is happening in our 20s and it's really difficult and more uncertain than ever and people need help with this.” - Dr. Meg Jay

We brought up some of our key takeaways from the first edition of the book: Identity Capital and Weak Ties. It resonates with us so much more now, hearing the words right from Meg herself.

The reason we are releasing this episode on this particular date, is because The Defining Decade is now released as a revised and updated edition - you need to read this! She didn’t want to “fix what wasn’t broken,” but worked to fit it into any changes in today’s world. We were able to hear all about the new updates and as you could guess, social media made it into this edition. There is also a new chapter called “29 Conversations” which is about conversations you should have with a partner, but Meg urges that you have these conversations with yourself first.

“So you're not just wondering, what does my partner want? But you're clear on what do I want before you go out trying to figure out what someone else wants. And, I think that's often a step that people don't take. They're so worried about what does their partner want and can they make that work that they don't ask themselves, ‘well, what is it that I want down the road for myself?” - Dr. Meg Jay

This is just a snippet of the amazing conversation we were able to have with someone who is an icon for us! We are so excited for you all to listen to this one.

Buy The Defining Decade here:



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