Maybe you’re already aware of this, but the age of adolescence is getting higher and higher. Some studies say it now extends until 25 years old (source), others are saying 28-30 (source). The stereotypical conversation I hear is, “So and so still lives at home” or, “My kid hasn’t found a job yet.” Millennials seem to be pigeon-holed as non-starters…
It’s hard to refute… lots of millennials live at home. Take a look at this map from 2015:
That’s a bummer to me, but I think there’s more to this story than some would like to admit. Let’s take me and my wife for example. We are out of the norm being that we got married at 20, but we entered the workforce in 2009. That may have been the worst time in recent history to try to find a job out of college. My wife is a nurse and she was competing with 600 other nurses for 20 positions at the hospital nearest to us. It took her nearly a year to find a hospital that would hire her and that was only after she signed a contract. This contract was an agreement to go through a nursing residency of sorts. It also stipulated that she had to stay on board for at least two years.
Up to this point, hospitals were only taking “experienced” nurses. So that meant all new graduates were simply out of luck. At that point across the country you had students of various majors who were freshly graduated, up to their eyeballs in debt, but had no way to make money and pay back their student loans. Some of our friends moved back home because they couldn’t get a job in their field for lack of experience, others were lucky and found some opportunity to “launch” into the workforce. In truth though, so many who failed to launch didn’t do so by choice, they were just dealt a bad hand.
This reality has put millennials at odds with the generations that came before them, especially Boomers since that is their parents’ generation. All parents want their kids to get a job, to move out, to start their own family. All parents also want what’s best so they are still willing to help their kids when life is hard, even if that means letting them move back in. Still, since this is so common among millennials they are called free-loaders, entitled or simply immature “snowflakes” who need to toughen up and become adults.
Millennials don’t love that for the record. You would be hard pressed to find many who graduated college and found a high paying job that allowed them to quickly get out of debt. My wife and I had to live in someone’s guest house for about a year and a half. We ate a lot of Top Ramen and we drove old broken vehicles. We are still in massive amounts of student debt, even ten years after graduating.
Some millennials feel they were set up for failure. Their parents were able to get jobs right out of school (high school or college) and provide for their family. Cost of living wasn’t astronomically high. The economy was strong. We get compared to our parents so often that we become resentful. I think it also causes us to waiver in our confidence. At some of the most pivotal times in our lives, when we are supposedly becoming adults, the world seemingly stacks the deck against us.
Don’t buy it? Check this out… (its about ten minutes long but it is very worth it!)
Until next time…