It’s very common that the majority of my friends who graduated college moved back in with their parents. I know it’s not the most ideal thing after you’ve had your freedom for 4 years in college, but everyone’s essentially doing it. The economy and job market aren’t that great for college grads, thus the money-saving thing to do is move back home and find a job in/around your hometown. Fortunately, I was one of the few that got my own place after college and kept a steady job for over a year and half now. Although, when I first moved away from college I did bounce around my close friends’ family homes before I found a steady job and apartment (took me about 3 months to find a job). The age when we decide to get married has changed with our generation as well. It’s true that myself and all my peers (for the most part) are waiting to get hitched until our late twenties. We are the 20-somethings.
20-somethings are taking a longer time to finish school, leave home, start a career, get married and settle down, and reach other key milestones of adulthood. This fact has been proven by sociologists and psychologists who obtained the supporting data I’m going to discuss below.
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, give years in a little more than a generation. – Marantz Henig
The stage between late teens through mid twenties is now a distinct stage of life deemed as “emerging adulthood,” according to Jeffrey Arnett. Guess that’s where I fall at the moment… This phase only relates to about 18% of the global population in developed countries such as the US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and Japan. Generally speaking, people living in the rest of the developed countries of the world are much more likely to finish a formal education on time and get married by their early 20’s. I have to say that I’ve seen this occur with my friends who live in Europe and Australia- many have graduated from a University and got married right afterwards.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Delayed Development:20-Somethings Blame the Brain, the author pretty much suggests that parents “chill out” when worrying about their 20-something child. The author concludes that scientists suggest, “recent research into how the brain develops suggests that people are better equipped to make major life decisions in their late 20s than earlier in the decade. The brain, once thought to be fully grown after puberty, is still evolving into its adult shape well into a person’s third decade, pruning away unused connections and strengthening those that remain.”
One piece of information I found quite intriguing was that between the ages of 12-25, the brain changes its structure in a couple prevalent ways. LET’S TALK SCIENCE– neurons in the early adolescent brain become bushier- like a quickly growing jungle planets in the movie Jumanji that overtake the house- growing fast and overlapping branches whose twigs reach toward each other. They are almost touching, but as we all learned in biology class they need to leave a tiny space known as synapses for electrical pulses to transmit chemical messages. As time passes, depending on how teens keep their mind busy, the less used synapses wilt and wither away, while twigs gaining the most chemical action grow strong like a redwood. It’s important to understand that this is new in terms of what we thought of human brain development. We are still growing and changing past our pubescent years!
Overall, this concept about the 20-somethings of this generation is kind of a big deal. We are experiencing new situations with society, culture, and the economy unlike previous generations. Our parents can’t simply compare theirs lives growing up to ours any longer. Times are a changing people… the mold has been broken and the 20-somethings are on the loose to conquer the world!