Society: Dawn of a New Age | NYTIMES Brings Light To What’s Up With Twenty Something’s

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There’s been a lot of buzz and talk about the generation of young people emerging today, most call us Millennials, but the names and categories vary depending on who you ask.  The New York Times Magazine published a piece recently about why people in their 20′s do not seem to be “real” adults and that perhaps society needs to re-examine todays 20 somethings as being part of a new life stage.  To read the full article you can click HERE.

I highlighted some points from the very detailed piece.  In the comments section let me know, what do you think?  Did you graduate recently, are you working?  Do you graduate this year? Are you going right into a job, or to grad school?

Excerpts:

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 somewhat terrifying,” writes a 25-year-old named Jennifer, “to think about all the things I’m supposed to be doing in order to ‘get somewhere’ successful: ‘Follow your passions, live your dreams, take risks, network with the right people, find mentors, be financially responsible, volunteer, work, think about or go to grad school, fall in love and maintain personal well-being, mental health and nutrition.’ When is there time to just be and enjoy?” 


Adds a 24-year-old from Virginia: “There is pressure to make decisions that will form the foundation for the rest of your life in your 20s. It’s almost as if having a range of limited options would be easier.”

And many parents — including those who can’t really afford it — continue to help their kids financially long past the time they expected to. Two years ago Karen Fingerman, a developmental psychologist at Purdue University, asked parents of grown children whether they provided significant assistance to their sons or daughters. Assistance included giving their children money or help with everyday tasks (practical assistance) as well as advice, companionship and an attentive ear. Eighty-six percent said they had provided advice in the previous month; less than half had done so in 1988.

The Network on Transitions to Adulthood has been issuing reports about young people since it was formed in 1999 and often ends up recommending more support for 20-somethings. But more of what, exactly? There aren’t institutions set up to serve people in this specific age range; social services from a developmental perspective tend to disappear after adolescence. But it’s possible to envision some that might address the restlessness and mobility that Arnett says are typical at this stage and that might make the experimentation of “emerging adulthood” available to more young people. How about expanding programs like City Year, in which 17- to 24-year-olds from diverse backgrounds spend a year mentoring inner-city children in exchange for a stipend, health insurance, child care, cellphone service and a $5,350 education award? Or a federal program in which a government-sponsored savings account is created for every newborn, to be cashed in at age 21 to support a year’s worth of travel, education or volunteer work — a version of the “baby bonds” program that Hillary Clinton mentioned during her 2008 primary campaign?

THE 20S ARE LIKE the stem cell of human development, the pluripotent moment when any of several outcomes is possible. Decisions and actions during this time have lasting ramifications.

Full article: HERE.

I highlighted some points from the very detailed piece.  In the comments section let me know, what do you think?  Did you graduate recently, are you working?  Do you graduate this year? Are you going right into a job, or to grad school?

One comment


  • Anonymous

    I thought that article was going to go in an entirely different direction based just on the headline. I can really relate to what it's saying though. Thanks for sharing!

    August 25, 2010

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