Sorry, College Graduates, Your 20s Do Matter

That stretch is life's 'developmental sweet spot,' says psychologist

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 26, 2012 9:28 AM CDT

(Newser) – Too many college graduates these days are embracing the message that it's fine to fritter away their 20s and figure things out by the ripe old age of 30, writes clinical psychologist Meg Jay in the Los Angeles Times. Which is too bad because "our 20s are life's developmental sweet spot," she writes. "They matter. A lot." Yeah, the economy is lousy and our pop culture "fetishizes" the idea that the 20s should now just be a period of extended adolescence.

College grads would be wise not to use those things as excuses, to find false comfort in the slogan that "30 is the new 20." It's not. Where we end up in our 30s and 40s largely depends on what we do in our 20s, writes Jay. In fact, she offers a new definition of the midlife crisis: It "isn't buying a red sports car. It's smart, well-meaning 40-year-olds grieving a little as they look at themselves—and at me sitting across the room—and say about their 20s, 'What was I doing? What was I thinking?'" Read the full column here.

Barnard College graduates listen to President Obama deliver their commencement address on May 14.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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