Why We Need To Take 20-Somethings Seriously
They’ve been called the Twixters, Choisters, pre-adults, adultescents, the stuck generation and the lost generation, playing out an extended adolescence or an emerging adulthood or their odyssey years. They are the 20-somethings that graduated into one of the worst economies in decades, saddled with some of the highest debt burdens. According to a new report, half of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, scraping by with low-wage service jobs. Those who are working earn less than their 1970s counterparts, when adjusted for inflation.
They are moving back home, going back to school or embracing unpaid internships as the new starter jobs. They are marrying later and starting families later still. They are told to wait it out. They have time. The 20s are for having fun anyway. Real life starts later.
But it doesn’t. It starts now, and they are falling behind.
“I’ve had hundreds–maybe thousands–of clients and students who’ve been misled about how important this decade is,” says Meg Jay, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist specializing in adult development and the author of The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–and How to Make the Most of Them Now. “In a lot of ways, 20-somethings are not taken seriously. Your 20s really, really matter. You are deciding your life right now, and it will have enormous impact across years and generations to come.”
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