OMG: Half Of Us Do Not Feel We’ve Reached Adulthood
Posted by Katie Ostoich on August 2, 2012 at 10:27 AM
Breaking news: Fifty-one percent of 18- to 29-year-olds do not feel they have fully reached adulthood, according to new findings from the Clark University Poll of Emerging Adults. Can we send up a resounding, “DUH,”? Most of those young adults said they feel that they have reached adulthood in some ways, but not in others. Wow. That’s groundbreaking.
Of those surveyed, 36 percent of young adults say that taking responsibility for themselves is the most important part of becoming an adult, while 30 percent classify financial independence as most important; two areas where our generation needs a little help. In such a weak job market, many of us do not appear to be on track to gaining financial independence soon. Sixty-three percent of 18- to 29-year-olds in the survey said that they receive some financial support from their parents, according toUSA Today. And relying on one's parents often means having to do what they say. The Clark survey found that 52 percent of young adults are in touch with their parents every day or almost every day, and 34 percent agreed with the statement that "my parents are more involved in my life than I really want them to be."
Wow. No wonder the majority of us feel anxious and are often depressed. I mean, almost everyone I know is going through some sort of quarter life crisis, myself included. It really is hard to feel like you have "grown up" without any means to support yourself, and living at home once again after graduation from college or trade school. I don’t know about you, but my friends and I grew up expecting our lives to be better than or at least equal to our parents. We really thought we would be able to afford an apartment or a house, you know, once we had a job, and furnish it like something we saw on TV. Not to mention, we also thought we’d have Carrie Bradshaw’s closet. Clearly, we were misled.
This whole transition, or stunted transition as it were, is being called “emerging adults,” a term I think is important. In a nutshell, it suggests that the majority of twentysomethings in Westernized cultures go through a specific sort of ambiguous waiting period between the transition from adolescence to adult. The typical “adult” markers of leaving home, getting married, and having children, are no longer the indicators that you have boarded the Adult Train. It’s no longer the black-and-white-leave-home-start-a-family-work-one-career as it was in the past.
And though I am generally a really positive person and am so thankful that my husband and I have both had a job since graduating and all of that, I totally get down in the dumps thinking how I don’t feel “grown up” yet. We’ve been told our whole lives to just keep climbing those stairs. Emerging Adulthood is what happens when we actually get off the stairs and start exploring — all the dead ends and wrong turns included.
So if becoming a real live adult has not been as straightforward as you thought it would, well you my emerging adult friend, are not alone.
Our verdict: OMG. Well this survey is completely obvious, but what are we going to do about its findings? How do we get to adulthood? Keep climbing the stairs that seem to keep falling out from under us? When do we feel it?
I know that I would leave to hear some advice or thoughts on this from ladies who have been in this situation! Please share your thoughts in the comments.