The Rocket Years: How Your Twenties Launch the Rest of Your Life (Hardcover)
The Defining Decade for the #Adulting generation—a book that blends storytelling and data to unpack the choices you make in your twenties, why they matter, and how to turn those critical years into a launchpad for the life you want.
We tend to think of our twenties as a playground for life: A time for low-consequence experimentation and delaying big decisions. But the truth is that while you’re muddling through those years—exploring new cities, dating the wrong people, hopping between jobs—a small shift in your flight path can mean the difference between landing on Mars or Saturn.
As the data shows, the choices we make (or put off) during this critical decade about our career, marriage, health, friends, even downtime have the greatest impact on how our lives play out. For example, did you know that people who marry between the ages of 28 and 32 have the lowest risk of divorce? And that the average 25 year old has 20 close friends, but this will shrink to 8 after age 40? And that most of us don’t acquire new hobbies after we hit our thirties?
Rather than prescribing one correct path (who are we kidding, there’s no such thing anyway!), Elizabeth Segran invites readers to think critically and holistically about the life they want to build. With signature warmth and humor, Segran is the guide we all wish we had to show us the way. Blending insightful anecdotes with research from economics, sociology, and political science, The Rocket Years is an empowering exploration of these exciting, confusing, wonderful years.
Elizabeth Segran spent her childhood in Brussels, Paris, Singapore, and Jakarta. She attended Columbia University, then got a Ph.D. in Indian literature and women’s studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She's a senior staff writer at Fast Company, and her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including The Atlantic, The Nation, Foreign Policy, and the New Republic. She lives in Boston with her husband, daughter, and books.
— Jennifer Hyman, cofounder and CEO of Rent the Runway
“Within these pages is a fresh, fiery manifesto for believing in and harnessing our greatest potential from the get-go. A smart, impassioned, powerful read.”
— Amber Tamblyn, actress and author of Era of Ignition: Coming of Age in a Time of Rage and Revolution
“The Rocket Years is indispensable reading for twentysomethings. Elizabeth Segran offers hope—along with plenty of well-researched evidence—that we have incredible power to create interesting, meaningful lives. She offers a blueprint for building the life we want and, importantly, encourages us to be patient with ourselves when we hit inevitable roadblocks.”
— Wajahat Ali, playwright and contributing writer for the New York Times
“If only I’d had this book in my twenties. . . . Elizabeth Segran beautifully captures all the advice I wish I’d been told then and empowers me to continually reinvent myself throughout my thirties, forties, and the rest of my life.”
— Jen Rubio, cofounder, president, and chief brand officer of Away
“Elizabeth Segran busts the notion that our twenties are frivolous. Her brilliant book The Rocket Years takes one small step for life planning and one giant leap for helping each of us find joy and purpose in our careers and relationships.”
— Scott Hartley, author of The Fuzzy and the Techie
“A book about the importance of your twenties could have been a stressful read, especially for those of us looking at those years in the rearview mirror. But Elizabeth Segran leads us on a warm, encouraging tour of personal stories and academic research to reach big themes about how to live a rewarding life. My thirties will be the better for having read it.”
— Ariel White, assistant professor of political science at MIT
“Our biggest decisions—whom we love, what we believe, where we work and live—are largely shaped by our twenties. But rather than let these years speed by, The Rocket Years reminds us how much control we actually have.”
— Michael Gill, research scientist at Facebook