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Apr 22, 2024

#366: Why You Don’t Want to Peak in Your 20s with Meg Jay

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Authenticity, Belonging, Career, empathy, Mental Health, Personal Growth, Purpose, Relationships, Self-Love, Self-Worth, Transformation, Twenties


In this episode, I welcome Meg Jay – a developmental clinical psychologist specializing in twentysomethings – who helps tackle the question: are your 20s the best years of your life? Together, we explore the complexities of navigating our 20s and the misconceptions about this period. Meg sheds light on societal pressures, mental health hurdles, and the crucial need for tailored support for individuals in their 20s. She also discusses the power of empathy over stigmas, touches on generational shifts in work culture, and addresses the common obstacles faced by twentysomethings. Whether you’re currently in this age group or not, this conversation offers invaluable insights into the support we all require during this pivotal decade of life.

Meg Jay, PhD, is the author of The Twentysomething Treatment: A Revolutionary Remedy for an Uncertain Age, Supernormal: The Secret World of the Family Hero and the cult classic The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and her work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review and on NPR, BBC and—maybe most important for her audience—TikTok. Her TED talk “Why 30 Is Not the New 20” is among the most watched to date. Dr. Jay earned a doctorate in clinical psychology, and in gender studies, from the University of California, Berkeley. She is on faculty at the University of Virginia and maintains a private practice in Charlottesville.


0:00:00 Intro

0:02:51 The Transformative 20s

0:04:39 Uncertainty in Modern Adulthood

0:06:47 Cultural Trivialization of 20-somethings

0:10:03 Specializing in 20-somethings

0:11:54 Precision Mental Health for 20-somethings

0:13:51 Normalizing Mental Health Challenges

0:16:08 Addressing Demeaning Terminology

0:18:34 Generational Work Ethic Perceptions

0:20:43 Young Workers’ Impact on Change

0:21:33 Explicit Challenges Faced in 20s

0:27:06 The Impact of Cultural Factors on Mental Health

0:34:56 Shifting from Fear-Based Thinking to Fact-Based Thinking

0:40:09 The Effects of Overconsumption of Technology on Anxiety

0:44:46 Embracing Uncertainty and Making Decisions

0:50:21 Practical Strategies for Making the Most of Your 20s

0:53:28 The Power of Positive Expectations and Hope


—Meg’s Instagram

Meg’s LinkedIn

—Meg’s TikTok

—Meg’s X/Twitter

—Meg’s Threads

—Meg’s Book

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