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Old 08-22-2010, 04:49 PM   #1
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What Is It About 20-Somethings?

The New York Times Magazine recently ran an article saying people in their 20s are taking longer to grow up.



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It’s happening all over, in all sorts of families, not just young people moving back home but also young people taking longer to reach adulthood overall. It’s a development that predates the current economic doldrums, and no one knows yet what the impact will be — on the prospects of the young men and women; on the parents on whom so many of them depend; on society, built on the expectation of an orderly progression in which kids finish school, grow up, start careers, make a family and eventually retire to live on pensions supported by the next crop of kids who finish school, grow up, start careers, make a family and on and on. The traditional cycle seems to have gone off course, as young people remain untethered to romantic partners or to permanent homes, going back to school for lack of better options, traveling, avoiding commitments, competing ferociously for unpaid internships or temporary (and often grueling) Teach for America jobs, forestalling the beginning of adult life.

The 20s are a black box, and there is a lot of churning in there. One-third of people in their 20s move to a new residence every year. Forty percent move back home with their parents at least once. They go through an average of seven jobs in their 20s, more job changes than in any other stretch. Two-thirds spend at least some time living with a romantic partner without being married. And marriage occurs later than ever. The median age at first marriage in the early 1970s, when the baby boomers were young, was 21 for women and 23 for men; by 2009 it had climbed to 26 for women and 28 for men, five years in a little more than a generation.

We’re in the thick of what one sociologist calls “the changing timetable for adulthood.” Sociologists traditionally define the “transition to adulthood” as marked by five milestones: completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying and having a child. In 1960, 77 percent of women and 65 percent of men had, by the time they reached 30, passed all five milestones. Among 30-year-olds in 2000, according to data from the United States Census Bureau, fewer than half of the women and one-third of the men had done so. A Canadian study reported that a typical 30-year-old in 2001 had completed the same number of milestones as a 25-year-old in the early ’70s.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/ma...me&ref=general


The article is very long, so read it if and when you have the time.

But based on what I posted, do any of you agree? I'm 28 and I would say its the economy's fault that I haven't done a lot of things that "make" an adult - such as getting married and having kids. But I know other 20-somethings who do have good jobs, yet still live at home, haven't had any serious relationships, etc. Is there something wrong with us?

I would say yes and no. No because my generation seems to believe that life should be fun and we can live until we're 90 or 100, so why rush to grow up? But I would say yes because some 20-somethings are dragging their asses around when it comes to being independent, and not because they are too busy having fun. They really do seem to be babied by their parents and still have adolescent minds.


Thoughts?
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:16 PM   #2
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I would argue that the traditional sociological definition of adulthood, as discussed in that article, is arcane today. Getting married and having children should be stricken off the list in the sense that they are seen as lifestyle choices and not necessary transitions. Things have also changed for women in particular, who no longer depend on marriage for financial security.

Another thing to remember is that both proportionally and absolutely, fewer people of our parents' generation had undergraduate degrees. That degree had a far higher value back then than it does now. These days many of us are forced to complete graduate or professional degrees which would not have been necessary for comparable jobs 40 years ago. Moreover, the cost of college has sky rocketed while salaries have stagnated and we are graduating with debt levels that my parents simply did not have to deal with in their day. You could work over the summer and perfectly well be able to finance your education.

So there are some external factors that may be delaying "adulthood" as defined in this article.

What has changed about us intrinsically? I'm not sure that I can pinpoint it and I'm not sure that any of these things are necessarily negatives. I think we have more options and opportunities and maybe that leads to indecision. The financial independence that women have these days certainly affects the average marriage age as well as probably increases the numbers of single women who would otherwise seek to marry. The world is also more accessible for us - we can travel, we have global mobility when it comes to jobs and places where we can live and maybe we don't feel very strong ties to any particular community - we are much more children of the world than our parents were.
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:39 PM   #3
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I guess I don't fit their mold. I'm married, I don't move every year, I haven't lived with my parents since I was 17, I am 25 and have had the same job for almost 8 years.

And, what Martina said.

As for the housing, my mom tells me all the time about people her age (mid-fifties) whose parents/family bought or helped financed their home. These days normal people cannot afford that, plus with the housing market what it is no one wants to buy into a home they really are not committed to. Phil and I have been looking for over a year, and when we do buy it will be something we are committed to living in for a minimum of ten years. Also since it's a buyer's market, we can be really picky about what we want and where we want it. Now if we'd just gotten married and my daddy was going to buy me a house, you betcha I wouldn't care nearly as much and jump on that like flies on poo.

Personally, I am not a career-focused person. My identity and how I feel about myself and how I define success have nothing to do with my job. My job gives me something to do, it pays my bills, it allows me to go on reasonable vacation, and it covers my ass as far as health, life, retirement, etc. Beyond that, as a 25 year old I have a few hobbies that take up the rest of my time and much more of my energy and commitment than my job. Right now I just selfishly would rather pursue those activities than have kids. I'm lucky that my job covers my basic needs and then some, so my real happiness and feelings of success and self-worth are defined by the things I truly love doing and don't make a cent doing it. These days people can switch careers if they want. You don't have to pick something straight out of highschool, and it's less and less common to take over and inherit some sort of family trade. Plus as a woman, all the previous generations of women in my family were housewives and that's not what I aspire to at this moment. I have a good ten years to have or adopt kids and we fully intend on raising them ourselves but at this point in our lives we enjoy the other things we are committed to as far as time and financially and aren't ready to make that sacrifice.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I guess I don't fit their mold. I'm married, I don't move every year, I haven't lived with my parents since I was 17, I am 25 and have had the same job for almost 8 years.
I guess I should also clarify that I probably don't fit their mold. Firstly because I'm actually 30 (and no, life hasn't ended). I also haven't lived at home in years, have a couple of degrees and a career and stable job and the last time I moved was when I graduated. On the other hand I'm not married (and not sure I care to be) but I would like to have children some day, it's just that I have career goals I'd like to meet before doing that.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:39 PM   #5
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It's tough to settle down. I don't know how people do it, let alone 20-somethings.

All, if not most, 20-somethings want to go clubbing every night and hook up with as many people as they can. They don't want to leave the high school/college mentality of partying. They don't want to be tied down in a marriage, having kids, worrying about the bills and having to pay for a mortgage.

I am 37 and single. I have never had a girlfriend. I still live at home with my widowed mom. I am college-educated and employed, but I don't make enough money to live on my own, let alone support a family.
I will never get married because of two things: I am physically ugly and I don't make enough money. I am a total loser, but that is besides the point.
The point is, 20-somethings want to party and have fun as long as they can.
I used to think that women who reach the age of 25 begin to start thinking about marriage and having kids. But now, I think those women want to play the field, have casual sex and live independent lives, not worrying about having to get married and have kids. Just read those Maxim magazines. You will see that most 20-something women are pretty much like that now.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joerags View Post
I am 37 and single. I have never had a girlfriend. I still live at home with my widowed mom. I am college-educated and employed, but I don't make enough money to live on my own, let alone support a family.
I will never get married because of two things: I am physically ugly and I don't make enough money. I am a total loser, but that is besides the point.
The point is, 20-somethings want to party and have fun as long as they can.

It's ironic that in your thread in Zoo Confessionals, Pearl called you out for these very comments, and yet here you are spouting off this nonsense in one of her threads!

I sincerely hope you seek the help you so obviously need, because it's obvious you do not listen to what others tell you, even if they are strangers on an Internet fan forum. It is not necessary to repeat the same lines over and over every chance you get. We get it.

But I don't want to derail this thread.

As you were.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joerags View Post
I am 37 and single. I have never had a girlfriend. I still live at home with my widowed mom. I am college-educated and employed, but I don't make enough money to live on my own, let alone support a family.
I will never get married because of two things: I am physically ugly and I don't make enough money. I am a total loser, but that is besides the point.
Do you just copy and paste this into every single thread you post in?



I definitely fit the mold. I'm 29, moved back with my parents for a year after I graduated college, and in the past 3 years I've moved 9 times. I also have yet to hold a full-time job for more than a year. Though, I've never lived with a partner. I've got 99 problems, but a bitch ain't one.

I'm a rockstar, so such is the way of life.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:08 PM   #8
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Yawn. I remember all the professional worrywarts freaking out 20 years ago when I was a 20-something about those crazy young people changing jobs all the time and not being in a rush to get married right away (like taking a lot of time to decide who you are going to make a lifetime commitment to or maybe deciding marriage just isn't your cup of tea is such a horrible thing) and having to move back in with their parents for a while. Gee, what a coincidence, the economy was in the crapper back then too.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joerags View Post
It's tough to settle down. I don't know how people do it, let alone 20-somethings.

All, if not most, 20-somethings want to go clubbing every night and hook up with as many people as they can. They don't want to leave the high school/college mentality of partying. They don't want to be tied down in a marriage, having kids, worrying about the bills and having to pay for a mortgage.

I am 37 and single. I have never had a girlfriend. I still live at home with my widowed mom. I am college-educated and employed, but I don't make enough money to live on my own, let alone support a family.
I will never get married because of two things: I am physically ugly and I don't make enough money. I am a total loser, but that is besides the point.
The point is, 20-somethings want to party and have fun as long as they can.
I used to think that women who reach the age of 25 begin to start thinking about marriage and having kids. But now, I think those women want to play the field, have casual sex and live independent lives, not worrying about having to get married and have kids. Just read those Maxim magazines. You will see that most 20-something women are pretty much like that now.
Oh fer chrissakes. This is getting just a little old, joerags. Quit trolling.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:16 PM   #10
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Woohoo! According to this article I'm a 20-something! Who would have thunk it at my age?
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:17 PM   #11
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I just turned 30 and never expected to be married when I was in my twenties. I always looked at my twenties as the time to go out and do what I want before I settle down and get married and have kids. I do have a full time job, with great perks and I have lived in my aprtment for seven years, but I never finished college. That is my one regret not doing before turning thirty.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoMac View Post
It's ironic that in your thread in Zoo Confessionals, Pearl called you out for these very comments, and yet here you are spouting off this nonsense in one of her threads!

I sincerely hope you seek the help you so obviously need, because it's obvious you do not listen to what others tell you, even if they are strangers on an Internet fan forum. It is not necessary to repeat the same lines over and over every chance you get. We get it.

But I don't want to derail this thread.

As you were.
I don't understand why you and everybody else keep attacking me. I am just stating what my situation is, in regards to the topic of this thread.

Did I ask for advice? Am I asking for sympathy?

The answer is no. I am not here looking for sympathy. Okay???!!!! Can I be any more clearer than that????!!! So, with all due respect, please stop attacking me. If you don't like what I have to write, just ignore me. Is that simple enough?

The topic was about 20-somethings afraid to grow up, and I simply used me as an example and to express my thoughts.

For the record, I won't participate in this thread, or any other threads from now on.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:25 PM   #13
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^ Do you even know any 20-something women to be able to compare them to the crap you read in Maxim?
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:39 PM   #14
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Without touching on the personal stuff, your generalizations are ridiculous.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:42 PM   #15
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Without touching on the personal stuff, your generalizations are ridiculous.
Ditto. Speaks for NONE of the 20-somethings I am currently acquainted with.
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