When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to
grow up. I had a toy razor and used Dad’s shaving cream to
pretend to shave.
I remember using my grandfather’s
Cross pen in a coloring book and being told, “This is not a
toy!” Fancy pens were for grown-ups, so that’s what I wanted to
When I was in my twenties and asked for a Mont
Blanc one Christmas, my Dad was overwhelmed with pride. It was
like a rite of passage and signaled to him that I had matured
sufficiently to appreciate the finer things in life.
Little girls in my generation couldn’t wait to grow up either.
They would get into trouble for wearing their mother’s lipstick,
shoes and clothes. When a little girl was big enough to get her
ears pierced like Mom’s, she had arrived.
We were eager
to graduate high school and leave for college. Then we were
eager to graduate college and start our lives as adults. I
bought my first home at age 22, and then a larger one that same
year when I decided that Nashville was where I wanted to stay.
Members of my generation who didn’t attend college also
valued independence. Some went straight to work after high
school so they could get their own "bachelor pad", while others
married and started a family.
No matter what paths we
chose, we couldn’t wait to take on the world because we valued
independence and self-reliance.
Today there’s an
ever-growing population of young adults who are in no hurry to
leave home. Sociologists have labeled them as “adult-lescents.
This shift in culture served as the plot line of the movie
“Failure to Launch”, which portrayed a thirty-something Matthew
McConaughey who wouldn’t leave home.
Even those who leave
for college aren’t graduating. Four-year degrees now take six to
eight years in many states. Lingering has become such a problem
that universities are spending millions on programs to entice
students to graduate in four years.
And why would they
want to leave? Instead of living in crowded dorms, students are
living in apartments while running up credit card bills for beer
and pizza. USA Today reported that 1 in 5 people who file for
bankruptcy are college students.
When hiring a
thirty-something today, it’s no longer safe to assume they’re an
adult. The first thing I want to know is whether they live with
When employment is not a necessity to
eat, people can quit their jobs on a whim. This is why annual
turnover rate for fast food restaurants that employ teenagers is
regularly 200 – 300%.
I’ll take a self-supporting
21-year-old who has to work to support themselves over a
35-year-old whose income is all discretionary.
To Your Success,
For those who want to send nasty
emails about how your 35-year-old son is still living in your
basement and trying to get his life started, look up the
definition of “enabler”.
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