: June 4, 2022 Posted by: Maureen Comments: 0

By Maureen Santini © Copyright. All Rights Reserved.

This is Chapter 3 in Write Your Life Story for Posterity. You’ve just finished writing about your second decade of life. Well done. Let’s keep going.

Your third decade spans ages 20 through 29 – challenging years for many.  If you were born in 1960, for instance, your third decade began in 1980. Begin writing with your 20th birthday.

In some cases, the twenties are an extension of teens. Many are in school and/or living at home. For others, the twenties can represent a turning point if they’ve completed their education and are beginning a new phase.

People in their twenties frequently are required to make decisions with long-lasting impact. Feeling in limbo and experiencing decision anxiety are typical during the twenties, according to therapists.

“You’re saying goodbye to one identity and starting to create the next,” says psychotherapist Satya Byock. “Where purpose and goals were once pre-defined, there are now often years and years in which each person needs to define those goals for him or herself.”

This decade presents many options. You may have begun or completed college or vocational school, enlisted in, or left military service, worked at a variety of jobs, or begun a career. You may have been single or you may have married and had a family. Whatever your situation was, write about it in detail.

Basic Information

Start by capturing basic information. List the addresses of your residences during this decade along with the names of others in the household and your relationship to them.

Describe your daily routine, including places you frequented such as churches, schools, restaurants, sports arenas, museums, and parks.

Education and Training

If you were in college or vocational school, write the name of the institution, your area of study, addresses of your residences, extracurricular activities, and highlights of these years. Describe your overall educational experience and why you chose the path you did. 

Name those who were most influential at this time, including instructors, mentors, bosses, friends, and relatives. Recount memorable experiences.

Family and Relationships

Whether you were single or married, describe your social life. List names of significant others, friends, and others who were influential in your life. Describe where and with whom you lived and spent most of your time.

If you were married, write in detail about your courtship, wedding, and the births of your children, if any, along with your experience of parenthood.

Work

Military

If you were in the military during this decade, describe the training you received, the places you were assigned, your duties, rank, and experience. Explain whether you were drafted or enlisted and whether you envisioned the military as a career. If you served during war-time conditions, describe your locations and duties and whether you experienced combat or near combat conditions.

Jobs

Whether you embarked on a career path in your twenties or worked at a variety of jobs, list each employer by name and date along with your duties. If you decided on a specific line of work, explain why.

Skills, Hobbies, Interests

Detail your main hobbies and interests in your twenties. Name organizations and clubs to which you belonged, such as a baseball team, a band, a book club, coaching youth, or playing darts at local bars. Relate your personal interests such as fashion, movies, music, art, sports, travel, card games, and learning new skills and hobbies.

Health and Welfare

Describe the state of your physical, mental, and emotional health. Mention problems you or those close to you faced and how you dealt with them. Provide as much detail as you feel comfortable sharing. Mention in particular traits and issues that seemed to run in the family and whether you had a role as a caretaker.

Current Events

Rate your level of awareness of local, state, national and international events, such as elections or wars. Refer to the major events you recall from this era. Explain your involvement in or concern about such matters. Recount if you were caught up in circumstances beyond your control, such as natural disasters, and how you coped.  

Expectations

Many people in this age group are saving to purchase a home, for instance, or paying down education loans or still pursuing educational degrees. State whether you had a plan for your future or whether you were taking a wait-and-see attitude. Describe your feelings and beliefs about the way in which your life was unfolding. From this vantage point, try to recall your expectations for the future.

Conclusion

Evaluate the ways in which your focus and lifestyle changed from the beginning of your third decade to the end. Looking back, describe ways in which your twenties set a course for your life, whether you were still seeking your path, or something in-between.

Well done! Next up: your fourth decade

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Note: This post has been updated from the original.