Your 20s: The Changing Brain

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Each week in May, Meg Jay, clinical psychologist, assistant clinical professor at the University of Virginia, and author of The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now, looks at different aspects of life in your twenties.

This Week: how your brain changes throughout your 20s- and how that affects your choices.


Meg Jay

Comments [4]


Dear Dr., Would love to hear if diagnosed Borderline personality disorder in late teens and early twenties' brains can be changed physiologically to cope with their reactions to social situations and outlook on life with therapy?

May. 17 2012 11:28 AM
Susan from Upper West Side

I joined Peace Corps and went to the Congo (then Zaire) mainly to piss off my parents. Most of the volunteers were in their 20s and most of the volunteers were really a bit out of control.

We thought it was funny that they yanked out the volunteers a year or so before we came because of the Ebola virus outbreak. Until I read the Hot Zone, I had no idea how bad it was. We thought we were immortal and could handle any tropical disease we encountered.

We suckered some Newsweek journalists who were coming to report on the Pygmies into buying us beer. We talked them out of hiring a driver and into hitchhiking on the back of a truck the way we did. The poor guys spent three days on the back of the truck afraid to eat anything. Then the researcher they were supposed to meet, John Hart, immediately took them on a 20 mile hike into the forest with the pygmies.

I still remember one guy (later a congressional aide) went on a wild spree in the capital city before he left drinking and dancing and hiring prostitutes. He made the same mistake as the Secret Service agent. He was so drunk he didn't remember doing anything with the prostitute and refused to pay her. She made a big scene in front of the Peace Corp driver when he was supposed to leave for the airport. She took her skirt off and pointed to her privates yelling -- see I offered this, its not my fault he was too drunk to do anything with it -- so he still owes me the money. By the time we were in our thirties we were mortified by our prior behavior.

May. 17 2012 10:48 AM
carolita from nyc

I was a total idiot in my 20's! Not only that, I was totally depressed most of the time, which I attribute to not having my act together and being totally lost. I hadn't really learned to use my brain, I'd say. I did all my brain-rearranging in my 30's. Weaned myself of my obsessive thinking. Went back to university. Learned an instrument. A huge help. But I'd never ever go back to my 20s.

May. 17 2012 10:42 AM
John A.

The 20's. Total disinterest in religion is what I see and what I remember.

May. 17 2012 10:37 AM

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