Why 30 is not the new 20

Aastha Sethi, a member of the department’s Book, Documentary and Reading club watched a TED talk by psychologist Meg Jay and had this to say: 

This is an intriguing thought put forth by clinical psychologist, Meg Jay. Now my thought when I read the topic of this extremely useful TED talk was that I am not even 20 yet. I don’t need to know what this means but curiosity got the better of me and so I gave it a chance. I was pleasantly surprised by the many relevant points it brought up. This is exactly what Meg had to say. We think that, “I am not 20 yet or I am a decade away from 30. Why is this relevant to me?” This is exactly what we should not think like. The 20’s are not a throwaway decade. Of course in our cultural fabric people still believe that 20’s are important and most of us have more or less made our career choices. But there are very valuable lessons that it has to offer and since most of us right now are about to turn 20 or have already hit the 20’s decade this can be a life changing insight.

Meg Jay explains how we need to take charge of our lives and create value. We should on no account be complacent once we achieve a short term goal and keep thinking of the next step that we need to take. The first lesson is creating ‘identity capital’, that is, doing something that adds value to one’s life. This is the time when we tend to slacken especially after getting into college once we have finished school and a sense of complacency sets in. College is the most crucial time and it is here that we should explore, exert and expand our horizons. Doing internships, attending engaging seminars and workshops, developing a hobby or honing any other skills that add value to life should be the topmost priority.

The second is picking relationships carefully. It is quite natural to belong to high school cliques and surround oneself with like-minded people but now is the time to break such comfort zones. Young adults need to stop huddling with the same type of people limiting their knowledge and options. Create meaningful acquaintances and friendships which will hold significance later in life and also widen your perspectives.

The third and the most important thing is using weak ties. This basically means being smart and innovative with your social circle. You are popular, know a lot of people but where is it leading you. Going to a lot of parties is not where your networking should stop. Using these networks we can enrich our life in many ways. Be aware of what people are accomplishing, try to learn from them, take their advice and make constructive decisions. Meg gave the example of a 23 year old art enthusiast who was not making any breakthroughs. She got her big break in an art museum in another country by contacting her old roommate who had a cousin in the same field. This was a smart use of ‘weak’ ties. Thus, we need to optimize on such opportunities.

Give yourself time to explore, enjoy life, take up hobbies but never lose focus. It is not necessary to be goal oriented all the time or have a one track mind but time is precious and once gone you will never have the opportunity to make mistakes and falter, yet gain something out of each one of them. It is only now when you have age on your side so create value with every step you take and it will surely earn you rich dividends in the near future and for the rest of your life.

Image found on Google 


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