The Rocket Years | Elizabeth Segran

Summary of: The Rocket Years: How Your Twenties Launch the Rest of Your Life
By: Elizabeth Segran

The Happiness in Hobbies

According to a 34-year study, those with hobbies are happier, less stressed, and more curious than those without. However, technology hasn’t given people more leisure time as expected, leaving little time for hobbies. Business professor Stewart Thornhill advises prioritizing hobbies to escape from work and home life. He suggests choosing a challenging and well-known activity, expecting obstacles, and remembering why hobbies matter. Even in old age, picking up new skills can ease cognitive decline.


Get ready to embark on a journey through ‘The Rocket Years,’ where choices made in your twenties set the trajectory for the rest of your life. In this book summary, you will learn the significance of relationships, careers, hobbies, and faith during this defining decade. Elizabeth Segran challenges you to harness the power of your twenties to chart your path to fulfillment, while providing insightful, data-driven advice for navigating professional turmoil, prioritizing hobbies, getting on top of your health, and more.

The Power of Rocket Years

In her book summary, the author cites Shilpa Shah’s analogy of life being a rocket, where choices made in one’s 20s shape the trajectory of their life. With minimal societal pressure, this period offers the most significant power to chart one’s course and establish productive habits. Though statistically easier when younger, the data can enable positive changes in relationships, careers, hobbies, and faith, regardless of age.

Navigating Professional Turmoil in your 20s

Are you feeling lost in your professional life as a millennial? It’s okay because according to economists, it’s normal. Millennials may experience job-hopping, difficulty finding fulfilling work, or joining the gig economy. However, most people tend to find satisfying work in the long run. Interestingly, millennials prioritize working for a business that aligns with their mission and values even if it means accepting a pay cut. Unhappy and stressed workers could lead to 550 million missed workdays a year, and higher risks of health problems. Though job-hopping helps develop skills, expand networks, and increase pay, many millennials consider graduate school as well. A master’s degree holder earns 23% more than those with only a bachelor’s degree, but three-fifths of graduates go into debt and cut into these earnings by tens of thousands of dollars. Always assess if the graduate program, institution, and job market are worth the investment before enrolling.

Fitness Habits in Your 20s

Your 20s mark the reset of fitness habits, according to a Harvard study. Regardless of previous athleticism, regular exercise helps you live longer. However, 60% of 18- to 25-year-olds don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. After 25, your basal metabolic rate decreases by 2% every decade, with visible changes in your body. To manage weight, you must cut calories and exercise more. Regular workouts help stave off diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and Alzheimer’s. While your habits start to hardwire at 25, it’s never too late to make healthier choices.

The Shifting Landscape of Marriage

Marriage has evolved from a socially acceptable obligation to a partnership centered on mutual attraction, connection, and values. Millennials and Gen Z delay marriage until their late 20s and early 30s, resulting in fewer divorces due to increased maturity and stability. Shared fundamental values and visions of family life are essential for marital bliss. Although 20% of Americans never marry, those who do have higher net worth and better health outcomes due to companionship and healthier habits. Technology has also influenced how couples connect, with over 40% of opposite-sex couples and 60% of same-sex couples meeting online. Overall, being intentional about choosing a partner who aligns with one’s values and goals can lead to a happy and fulfilling marriage.

Parenting Choices

The decision of having children, fostering, or adoption is a critical part of modern society. Research shows that most women know whether they want children and how many they want by their early 20s. Although same-sex couples are more likely to adopt children, they can still face discrimination. The choice of having children may affect marital satisfaction, mental well-being, and work opportunities. Employers view mothers as less committed to their jobs, and new mothers can be subjected to the motherhood penalty at work. Fathers, on the other hand, are viewed as more committed. Women who work full-time tend to spend more time doing household chores than men. Although having children is a significant decision, those who choose a child-free lifestyle can still lead fulfilling lives. Understanding what you want regarding parenthood can help you choose a partner with similar values. Thanks to new technologies and changing social norms, building families creatively is now an available option.

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