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What's Wrong with the 20 Somethings?

 
 
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2010 08:07 pm
Quote:
This question pops up everywhere, underlying concerns about “failure to launch” and “boomerang kids.” Two new sitcoms feature grown children moving back in with their parents — “$#*! My Dad Says,” starring William Shatner as a divorced curmudgeon whose 20-something son can’t make it on his own as a blogger, and “Big Lake,” in which a financial whiz kid loses his Wall Street job and moves back home to rural Pennsylvania. A cover of The New Yorker last spring picked up on the zeitgeist: a young man hangs up his new Ph.D. in his boyhood bedroom, the cardboard box at his feet signaling his plans to move back home now that he’s officially overqualified for a job. In the doorway stand his parents, their expressions a mix of resignation, worry, annoyance and perplexity: how exactly did this happen?

It’s happening all over, in all sorts of families, not just young people moving back home but also young people taking longer to reach adulthood overall. It’s a development that predates the current economic doldrums, and no one knows yet what the impact will be — on the prospects of the young men and women; on the parents on whom so many of them depend; on society, built on the expectation of an orderly progression in which kids finish school, grow up, start careers, make a family and eventually retire to live on pensions supported by the next crop of kids who finish school, grow up, start careers, make a family and on and on. The traditional cycle seems to have gone off course, as young people remain un­tethered to romantic partners or to permanent homes, going back to school for lack of better options, traveling, avoiding commitments, competing ferociously for unpaid internships or temporary (and often grueling) Teach for America jobs, forestalling the beginning of adult life.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/magazine/22Adulthood-t.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=all

Discussion here
http://www.slate.com/id/2264542/

I think certainly it is the combination of over coddling and the pervasive culture of fear during all their formative years that accounts for the sorry state of the current young supposed to be adults (need to be adults) but are still kids generation.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 1,784 • Replies: 10
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2010 09:25 pm
Interesting.

I want to read the full article but I'm exhausted tonight so it will probably be morning before I have anything worthwhile to contribute.

I think you're probably right about coddling and fear but I also think that for a lot of kids there is this expectation that a college degree will grant them access to some rarified world of not having to really "work".

I think a college degree is important but not as important as knowing how to work.

I know a gazillion people who graduated from college without ever having held a job.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2010 09:34 pm
I think there a lot of factors going on. Only time will tell, imo, what are the most pervasive factors.
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2010 09:56 pm
Over coddling is definitely one of the top 3 reasons why so many young people today just don't have what it takes to cut it out here. I've seen it over and over again, watched it from the time the kids were born and pinpointed just which kids would grow up to be the losers/slackers/big babies once they reached 'adulthood'. And it's rarely the kids' fault. It's the parents giving them everything their little hearts' desire and demanding nothing—such as good grades, performing chores around the house, honor and respect—in return. Or better yet, making a deal with little Johnny "I'll buy you those sneakers if you get an B in Geometry" and when Johnny brings home a D in Geometry along with a sob story about the teacher picking on him, the parents buy the sneakers anyway and storm the school with demands that the teacher be dismissed.
Seen it time and time again. Sad.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2010 09:57 pm
@littlek,
Quote:
I think there a lot of factors going on. Only time will tell, imo, what are the most pervasive factors
as a teacher you know very well how kids tend to raise and fall to expectations.....this has got to be a big part of the problem, that our expectations are whack.....as in the kids are helpless and they are going to get snatched off the street of we dont drill into them safety procedures worthy of a Jew in Munich in 1941. Drilling into them that the planet is dieing at an increasing rate prob does not help either.
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IRFRANK
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Aug, 2010 10:59 pm
Well, the current economic situation can't have anything to do with it, right?


Phd? He should have became a doctor, medical doctor.

hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Aug, 2010 11:35 pm
@IRFRANK,
Quote:
Well, the current economic situation can't have anything to do with it, right?
Lack of opportunity only very slightly explains a nearly complete lack of gumption, and the pervasive lack of faith in themselves.
0 Replies
 
GKwan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Aug, 2010 05:49 pm
@hawkeye10,
Today is a bad day to be young in America. Twenty somethings are people who would typical occupy manufacturing type positions that don't exist any more. The generation before me went from high school graduation to IBM without passing go or collecting 200 dollars. Now if you don't go to collage, or at least an overly expensive trade school, you can expect to live on the edge of the poverty line for the rest of you life. People in their twenty's have to rack up collage debt if they even want to dream about having a future, this is a pattern that was laid out in the 90's. The economy no longer supports this though, you work hard to get a collage degree, building debt as you go, then you graduate and you loose out to people who have twice the experience, half the education, and the desperation to work at entry level wages. When you have a massive load of collage debt, and absolutely no prospects for a decent job, moving in with your parents starts to look like a pretty sensible option. No amount of gumption can combat a complete lack of opportunity in the professional world, no sense of prideful rugged individualism can offer refuge from being one of the millions of valueless automatons struggling for a place in a society that has burned its bridges and sunk its fortunes. Its a lot easier to blame the players then to examine the way that the game board has changed.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Aug, 2010 07:01 pm
@GKwan,
Quote:
No amount of gumption can combat a complete lack of opportunity in the professional world, no sense of prideful rugged individualism can offer refuge from being one of the millions of valueless automatons struggling for a place in a society that has burned its bridges and sunk its fortunes. Its a lot easier to blame the players then to examine the way that the game board has changed
I dont blame the 20 somethings, I blame the adults who raised them. These people are woefully unprepared for the world they live in because they have been raised poorly. There has been way too much "you're great!, you're special!, you can do anything you want to do!" back slapping and no where near enough giving them the opportunity to learn the skills that they need to be great/special/successful, nor enough demand that they actually do the work to get these skills. As a result they are in a difficult world with no sense of navigation and no way to get anywhere with the shoddy tool boxes that they posses. They are stuck, they have been deceived, they are helpless and they are useless.

At the same time they need to have the common sense that God gave them enough to realize that they have been fucked over, and that is required for deciding to do something about it, one painful step at a time.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 01:15 am
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
“Hours worked” is recognized as a fundamental measure in applied economics, and trends over time in hours worked by U.S. workers have been carefully documented. Time use associated with education attainment has received less attention. We find that full-time college students in 1961 devoted 40 hours per week to academics, whereas full-time students in 2004 invested about 27 hours per week. Declines were extremely broad-based and are not easily accounted for by framing effects or changes in the composition of students or schools. Study time fell for students from all demographic subgroups, within race, gender, ability, and family background, overall and within major, for students who worked in college and for those who did not, and the declines occurred at 4-year colleges of every type, size, degree structure, and level of selectivity.
http://www.econ.ucsb.edu/~babcock/College_time_use_NBER.pdf

The demise of the rigorous university experience is in my opinion due to too many people showing up at the university unprepared, the failure of the university to uphold standards which goes all the way back to the 1960's capitulation to the demands of the students, and the more recent Commoditization of the University degree and experience. The failure of the university does not fully explain the deprivation of the younger generations, but it does partly.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 10:41 am
@IRFRANK,
I'd agree - some of this has to do with the current economy (and some to coddled children). Tough enough to get a job with having experience - imagine being a college graduate without any work experience, I'd imagine finding a job right now is not a piece of cake.
0 Replies
 
 

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