Common Reading Program

Common Reading Program

book cover for The Defining Decade by Meg Jay, PhD

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter - and How to Make the Most of Them Now
by Meg Jay, PhD

Image: Penn State

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter - and How to Make the Most of Them Now
by Meg Jay, PhD

Our “thirty-is-the-new-twenty” culture tells us that the twentysomething years don’t matter. Some say they are an extended adolescence. Others call them an emerging adulthood. But thirty is not the new twenty. Dr. Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist, argues that twentysomethings have been caught in a swirl of hype and misinformation, much of which has trivialized what is actually the most transformative period in our adult lives. Drawing on more than ten years of work with hundreds of twentysomething clients and students, “The Defining Decade” weaves the latest science of these years with behind-closed-doors stories from twentysomethings themselves. The result is a provocative read that provides the tools necessary to make the most of your twenties, and shows how hard work, relationships, personality, social networks, identity, and even the brain can change more during this decade than any other time in adulthood – if we use this time wisely.

– Published by Twelve Books


The Common Reading selection should be read by all incoming baccalaureate students prior to Orientation at the beginning of the fall semester.

The purpose of the Common Reading is:

  • to provide all First-Year students with an enjoyable and positive reading experience
  • to reinforce the message that reading is an integral part of the college experience
  • to foster a sense of community among our first-year students.

The First-Year Seminar (FYS) course will include academic expectations based on the content of the Common Reading selection.