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In a world where the biggest 20-something “role models” are the characters on HBO's Girls, it's no wonder that more and more people are thinking about their 20s as a "throwaway generation" or "extended adolescence"—a time to explore and figure things out, when decisions (and mistakes) don't really matter.

But this is far from the truth. In fact, according to psychological research, your 20s may be the most defining decade of your life.

In this compelling TED talk, psychologist Meg Jay argues that more 20-somethings need to take control of their lives during this critical time, and gives three smart pieces of advice for how to do it. Whether you are a 20-something or know and love one, it's a must-watch.