What To Expect From Your 20s: A Generation’s Lament
If you ask most people who are now in their 50s, 60s, or even 70s, what their best years were, chances are most of them will say their 20s. They’ll reminisce about the freedom, the lack of responsibility, and the sheer joy of being young and wild. However, the same question posed to people currently in their 20s will get a different answer entirely. Thanks to the unique challenges that come with being a young adult in the 21st century, the average 20-something today has very little in common with the generations that came before us. Here are some of the challenges that have come to define the 20s for those currently living through them:
1. Nobody respects you.
It’s a sad fact that young adults are not typically afforded respect from their elders. Teens don’t respect anyone, and adults still think of people in their 20s as children. In fact, most adults see us as inexperienced, carefree individuals who don’t really have any idea about the real world. But the truth is, we’ve been there too – and at some point, they were in our shoes. It’s important to recognize that respect is earned, not simply given, and a good work ethic, the ability to take responsibility, and a willingness to listen to and learn from others is the best way to earn it.
2. You’ll probably be living with your parents for most of it.
Most people in their 20s today simply cannot afford to move out of their parents’ homes. While in the past, young people could go off to college or trade school, finish their education, and get a job that paid enough to support themselves, that’s not the case today. With the high cost of rent, healthcare, and living expenses, most young adults are forced to stay at home, at least for now.
3. Your parents will get on your nerves.
Living with your parents can be frustrating, especially if you’re used to having the freedom that comes with living on your own. But at the same time, you have to remember that living with them is a privilege. They’re providing you with a roof over your head, food on the table, and all the other things that you need to survive. You may not always see eye-to-eye, but remember that it’s their house, and their rules.
4. You’ll have more freedom than you can handle.
When you’re young, freedom is both exhilarating and terrifying. Suddenly you have the ability to do whatever you want, go wherever you please, and make your own decisions about how you live your life. But the choices you make now will shape the trajectory of your entire life, so it’s important to be careful, and make decisions that will take you where you want to go. Freedom is a double-edged sword, but It’s up to you how you use it.
5. Your college accomplishments mean little.
Going to college used to be a sure-fire way to set yourself apart from the crowd. It signified intelligence, dedication, and a willingness to invest in yourself. But today, most young people have some type of education, and a college degree is no longer the ticket to success that it once was.
6. It’s hard to make friends.
When you’re in your 20s, making friends can be a real challenge. You may have moved to a new city, changed jobs or lost touch with your old buddies. But there’s no reason to despair – there are many ways to make new friends, from joining a club, volunteering, or even trying your hand at online dating.
7. College debts come due at the worst possible time.
One of the greatest challenges facing young adults today is student debt. With tuition costs skyrocketing in recent years, many young people are burdened with huge amounts of student loans that must be repaid after graduation. It’s important to stay the course, even in the face of all this financial pressure. While it may feel overwhelming now, it’s important to remember that it will all be worth it in the end.
8. Older generations take advantage of us.
It can often feel like the world is against young people – companies prey on their need for work experience to offer unpaid internships, or jobs that pay a pittance. But don’t despair; it’s important to keep your head up and remain optimistic, despite all of the challenges.
9. There is so much expected of you.
Despite all of the challenges facing young people, society still expects them to be the best, brightest, and most accomplished generation yet. There’s pressure to work hard, succeed in the job market, and to make a name for yourself in your chosen field. But remember – Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes time and patience to succeed.
10. We’re coming of age in a stagnant economy.
Finally, we’re growing up in an era where the economy often feels like it’s against us. With a job market that’s increasingly competitive and companies that are more concerned with their bottom line than their employees’ welfare, it can feel like the deck is stacked against young adults. But stay strong – you are the future, and you have the power to make a difference.