Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Twenties are the New Teens?

The folks over at Lemondrop published the findings of an exclusive survey that reveals some interesting trends related to "twenty-somethings" and introduces the new phase, "emerging adult." I call it AdulthoodLite.

Fewer and fewer women in their twenties are getting married, starting families and buying homes. These pivotal events are being delayed more and more to make room for extended education, living with a significant other or moving back home with the parents. We're taking longer to reach these milestones than any generation before us. Thus, our twenties is the decade where we spend most of our time trying to figure out what we want out of life and thereby "emerging" in our thirties as the carefully crafted adults we want to be.

This makes so much sense in a world where technology has evolved more rapidly than society itself. We hesitate to move decisively in one direction or another because things are changing so rapidly. We want to wait, watch and then choose, based on our desires and hopes rather than out of necessity or tradition.

On the other side of the coin, this "failure to launch" is fueled instead by angst and fear:

"Being in my mid-20s feels bizarre," says Christina, 25. "It feels like I'm doing everything right and everything wrong at the same time. I'm single, I live with my parents, I don't have a permanent job (although I do have a very impressive internship). But at the same time, I'm in grad school, fairly successful at my program, and have a healthy social life, generally all the things I need to build a successful future."
And speaking of a successful future, apparently, by the time we hit 30, we've already had six jobs! Gone are the days of working 20 and 30 years with the same company. We are truly a new breed. Check out the article for a complete rundown of "emerging adults" and what you find just might surprise you!

10 comments:

PrincessBeks said...

Really good article it's actually made me feel better, having done things I feel the wrong way around meaning i fell in love was with a guy for 5 years and split up with him, i've now at the age of 24 relaised what i want to do and i'm going tback to study by the time i start my career I will be 29 years old!! but this doesnt scare me at all!!

Healthcare Working Girl said...

Exactly! This is the way of the world now with 20-somethings! Emerge at your pace darlin'!

Angeline said...

Interesting article...I see what they're getting at and I agree that the 20s are the perfect time to explore and experiment, but I don't think the term "emerging adult" really captures it. It's not like the 20-somethings that are still in grad school or exploring various jobs are any less "adult."

I understand that societal pressures can be stifling, but really, it doesn't matter where other people think you should be at your point in life, it matters how you feel you are progressing in life. If you're feeling stunted, try something new, but if you're comfortable, keep on keepin' on!

LaNeshe said...

That does seem to be the trend now. I think most people have realized there isn't a "life path" that must be stuck to. People are going at their own pace.

Betty said...

Interesting! It is crazy to think how different being in your 20s now is than when our parents were in their 20s. In a way I feel behind (no kids, no established career yet, etc.). But, in other ways, I feel ahead (education, relationship, etc.)
Great post!

Gemma Zhau said...

This was really interesting and just made me realize just how many people of my age (21) here in UK actually are behaving in the same way. The British are somewhat strongly influenced by American media and I've realized now that a decade of Friends has helped to mould the UK twentysomething lifestyle into how it is emerging at the moment. We all mature at different paces and make mistakes (in England this is particularly due to the glamorization of taking the easiest routes possible to become an instant success or overnight celebrity - most people doing this aspire to become glamour models or soccer players) which take time to clean up so we should accept this and try not to judge others so much.

Kate said...

I can relate! Right after college my good friends were all content to live at home until they got married and have babies. We ended up drifting apart, because I wanted my own apartment and to LIVE my 20's! I tried three different career paths before I found my current profession (which I love). Now I'm approaching 30 and just got married last year with a little one on the way. The timing was perfect for me, and I'm SO glad I waited and experimented with apartments, jobs, and my lifestyle before I settled down. I think this new trend is great for young people. No reason to pick a life path at 21 and stick with it for the rest of your life. Life is about changing your mind, making plans, and then changing them!

Edlund said...

Omg I love the layout of this blog. So cute!

Six and Oh said...

My friends and I talk about this constantly. A lot of girls from the suburban town I grew up in are already married or have children, but my biggest focus is school, work and my social life. I love that that's ok.

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