What was originally going to be a quaint little post on our new digs has now turned into yet another link to another recent article this time pertaining to our living situation. I stumbled across it on Friday on the utterly hilarious and informative and trashy website Jezebel. Do any of you guys read it? I only just started and I cannot get enough! Anyway, the main goal of the piece is to showcase the very real trend of our generation (twenty-somethings to thirty-somethings) moving back in with their parents after graduating post secondary school due to their massive incurred debt loads and inability to find a job in their chosen career path. We are apparently known as the “Boomerang kids.” This article resonates with me to such an extent that it was never a question as to whether or not I would mention it on my own blog.
With five solid years of a useless university degree under my belt, I am only where I am now due to a significant amount of hard work, a little bit of nepotism, and a crap load of luck. I currently cannot count the number of jobs that I have, but I will try for you today.
1. I’m a Research Assistant at the University (for 5 years)
2. I’m a Library Assistant at the Public Library (for 3 years)
3. I’m a Blogger (for 1.5 years)
4. I’m an Online Store Owner (for 1.5 years)
5. I’m a Freelance Writer (for 6 months)
6. I’m a Professional Photographer (up-and-coming)
There. Whew. That’s more than I like to admit. There I am, working away at six jobs a month/several a day, while my university graduate of a husband has one full-time job that does not require any education. Are we a product of our generation? As Mr. Big in SATC would say, “Abso-f*cking-lutely!” Would I change it if I had the chance? I would honestly say no. I love all of my jobs and love that I get to be a creative person as a grown up. I am lucky enough to have a husband that has a steady job so that I can experiment and work my buns off and discover just where exactly I belong in the work world. Not only that, but to relate back to this post, I am so blessed to have parents who have always treated their front door as a swinging one, and who get excited when every so often they hear from me, “Guys, I’m moving back home for a bit.”
While our stay in Baba’s house will only be for a few months, how lucky are we to have ended up on an acreage with no mortgage payment, no bills to pay, free food, a free babysitter for our dogs when we work, constant company next door, and a brand-new house to ourselves? So lucky! It’s funny how months of searching for an property in the country turned into us buying a lot in a village but, for the time being, living exactly in the setting that we strove for and at no expense.
I wholly agree with this article, and that there is no shame in moving home when times are tough, or even when times are great and you just need a place to stay and save money. If this is the way of the world for people my age, rather than fighting this trend, why not jump on the band wagon and give it a go? It may turn out to be the best decision that you have made since prior before choosing your ill-fated university degree.
Six years after the economy shit the bed, let’s check in with the “Boomerang kids.” If you guessed “long-term cultural trend” rather than “recessionary blip” sometime back in 2010—ding ding ding! You’re a winner! Your prize is this wadded-up copy of the Wall Street Journal full of dead bugs.
The New York Times Magazine just dropped a big piece on the phenomenon, complete with a really great photo essay. America’s young adults just aren’t leaving the nest like they used to: A fifth of people in their 20s and early 30s live with their parents, and 60 percent receive some financial support. And it’s not just because they missed mom doing the laundry:
Nearly 45 percent of 25-year-olds, for instance, have outstanding loans, with an average debt above $20,000. (Kasinecz still has about $60,000 to go.) And more than half of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, meaning they make substandard wages in jobs that don’t require a college degree.
For all the talk of entitled millennials, recent grads are dealing with a giant, stinking trash heap of garbage economic trends. There’s the fact that anybody graduating during a recession never makes up for the lost wages, sure, but the term “entry level” has also become a joke. A college degree barely gets you in the door, because companies won’t train new employees anymore. Or, as the Times depressingly puts it:
Today, about a third of young adults will earn a four-year-degree, and many of them — more than a third, by many estimates — are unlikely to find lifelong secure employment sufficient to pay down their debt and place them on track to earn more than their parents. If they want a shot at making it into the top 20 percent, they now need to learn a skill before they get a job. And for many, even with their parents’ help, that’s going to be an impossibility.
No wonder they call economics the dismal science! HEY-OOO!!! (Christ.)
But lest the Times‘ boomer subscribers despair their kids will goddamn never leave, the piece also points out that moving home (for those lucky enough to have that option) can also be seen as a pretty savvy financial move. Take the example of 28-year-old Adrianne Smith, who moved in with her parents after quitting a job as a behavioral analyst. But she did it deliberately, to save money to open her own clinic treating kids on the autism spectrum.
Even 27-year-old Annie Kasinecz, who’s lived with her mom for four years and cycled through several temporary gigs while agonizing over her long-term plan, gets a bit of buck-up-kid encouragement from Clark University psychologist Jeffrey Jensen Arnett. At least she’s actively seeking the right fit. (And at least she’s not racking up anymore debt, living on credit cards or god forbid borrowing to go to some grad school that won’t provide any better job opportunities.)
I wonder how reassuring Kasinecz finds that? The Times piece ends on an “i unno” note. We’re stuck with the trend but hey, nobody knows how it’s going to play out! But it’s probably a lot easier to feel sanguine if you’re not actually in the economic trenches, here, spending day after day scrolling through useless job boards and firing resumes off into the void.
Let’s just rename everybody from 15 to 35 Generation ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Because fuck it, IDK, LOL.
by Kelly Faircloth