When Will Everyone Else Grow Up?

July 29, 2010 at 7:45 am | Posted in Friends Then and Now, Life and Living | 13 Comments
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Maybe I have high expectations for people, and I know that not everybody is going to progress at the same speed, but I just need to know, when will everyone else grow up?

I feel like there are just certain things that should happen by the time you are 27.  For starters, you should be financially independent (unless of course you are getting your PhD or something).  By financially independent I mean that you  pay your own bills, including student loans, car insurance, utilities, food and all the expenses of living on your own; and if you live at home, you pay rent and buy your own groceries.  It’s just really hard to watch other people who don’t get passed this stage.

We all can’t fit into a cookie cutter mold, but don’t you think that at some point you need to take responsibility for yourself?  Ok, college is not for everyone, and I’m not saying you even need to know what you want to do with the rest of your life at age 27, but at least figure out how to budget, how what you earn fits into your lifestyle, and stick to it.

I think that some people get very caught up and nervous about not knowing what they want to do with their lives at 27 that they freak out and end up doing nothing, which is so unproductive!  You really can’t expect to be making a six-figure salary if you don’t start at the bottom and I know very few 27-year olds that are willing to start at the bottom so late in the game.  And the worst part is watching friends struggle knowing that nothing you say or do is going to make them grow up faster.

So when will everyone else grow up? I guess there’s no magic number. Maybe there’s a magical moment when it dawns on them that they can get to the next stage, and maybe there’s not.  Maybe they feel stuck and don’t know how to move forward. I think we’ve all been there before. The crappy job market is not helping any either. But people have grown up in worse times. We are spoiled compare to past generations.

So I guess I have to be patience with my slow-to-move friends. I’m working on the patience thing. I just hate to see great potential go to waste.


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  1. I feel the same way you do!
    I’m almost 24 now and it’s hard for me to believe that some people still choose to live at home. I graduated at college, lived home for a month, and was out on my own living in a new town 4 hours away , all at the age of 21. I wanted to experience being completely independent. I never asked for a dime from anyone. I don’t have an amazing, high paying job, I simply know how to budget and not live beyond my means. People who don’t even try to get out there and find a job (any job) and live on their own in the 20’s are just plain lazy.

  2. *in their 20’s

  3. I agree with what your saying…to a point. In my early 20’s I had a great paying career, lived in NYC and could afford to take my mom, sister and boyfriends on fancy trips. Then at age 24 I decided to move to L.A. Within a year I was let go from my job and suffered a medical emergency that nearly killed me. You can plot and plan your life in your 20’s but you never know the curve balls life will throw your way. I hope you never have to go through what I went through. But not everyone is so lucky. We all blossom and wither and blossom again. It’s just called life.

    Ms. Babe

    • Yes, but you did try to move ahead, and simply suffered a set back. I’m referring to people who don’t even get to that first “real job.” People stuck in jobs that they could have held in college or even high school. You took a major risk, so you are not within the group that I am referring to. Some people never take that first jump. Your 20s are all about trying out different things. You just have to be willing to fail.

  4. Thats a pretty general statement to make, not all people who live at home in their 20’s are lazy. Due to economic times, both my brother AND myself had to move back in with my mother last year, at 26yrs old. I’m certainly not lazy, but I couldn’t find a job (I’m a college grad). I was there for 10 months before I finally found a full time job.

    I also have multiple friends who have full time jobs, and choose to live at home, to help support their parents, who have lost their jobs. So it’s a little hard to pass judgement so quickly when you discover a 24yr old lives with their parents. Everyone has their reasons.

    BUT, I do understand hate’n on the moochers. Who are perfectly capable to live on their own, and just… well.. don’t. Or, slack on getting a big girl/boy job. I have a lot of theories about why this is so… #1 being coddled and having no fear instilled in them throughout childhood. Fear of being homeless, fear of not providing food for yourself, fear of being jobless. A very common theme in our generation, was the ‘fantasy world’ all the adults instilled around us. “You can be anything you want!” “You can get your PHD!” “You can go to the moon!” “Do you need a hug?” “Now, Jimmy. I’m going to count to 3,000 and if you dont calm down, you’re going to sit in the time out chair and only have ONE dessert tonight!”

    Government laws have protected the domestic violence and child abuse victims, but have completely taken away the freedom for parents and teachers to discipline their children without a frig’n ‘healing circle’ or ‘hug pillow’. We’re gonna be screwed once these teenagers grow up and become our bosses one day…

    • wow, definitely didn’t see this post becoming about domestic violence. Thanks for sharing your POV! I’d have to say that while you are showing both sides of the coin in reference to the original blog post, I;d say this last piece also has another side. Some parents don’t support their kids enough so that they have the confidence to go out and live.

      I’d say in general, I don’t like to make general statements. There’s always an exception to the rule.

      • well, it wasn’t really about domestic violence, it was about kids being raised to take their time and live carefree. I’m no pessimist, nor a cynic, but life is pretty tough sometimes. And if you’re not ready for it, who’s really to blame? You, or your parents? We all take responsibilty in our actions at a certain age, for me, it was right about 16yrs old, when I realized “oh yeah, i’m gonna be adult, like, really soon”.

        Without getting TOO off topic, the overpopulation of the world/America is getting too much for humans to deal with. We’ve all developed these emotional and mental issues that really diverge from reality. Anxiety to live on your own, debilitating fear of a scary bigwig job, fear of losing said job, fear of failing out of college, social anxiety from face to face networking. All these things that people are afraid of, are the very things they need to succeed. A lot of these 20 something moochers need a big ole ‘Suck it up Buttercup’ speech 🙂

  5. […] Thirtyy wonders when some of her peers will ever grow up. Something I wonder a lot, although to be fair, we’re at the other end of our […]

  6. One group I would have to touch base on is the ones that have great jobs make enough and more to live on their own then stay and live at home. I seen a lot of this and I do not understand. I can understand if your parent needs help and depends on you to be living with them then that is another story.

  7. I’d love to have you do a guest post about your experiences after college!!!
    My email is : jillbreedlove928@gmail.com. Send it over whenever you’re ready 🙂
    thanks, JILL

    • cool! I’ll work on that and hopefully get it to you soon. Thanks Jill!

  8. I know this is a really belated response to a nearly year-old post (surfed in here while conducting some online research on homeless twentysomethings) and you’ve probably soo over this, but hope you don’t mind me adding my $0.02 anyway 😛
    I’ve been wondering about this. What is a “real job”, anyway? Does it have to be a white collar job, that provides a clear career trajectory? Or anything that hopefully helps you survive? Is pizza flipping, waitressing or making lattes a cop-out, a sure sign that you’re an overgrown slacker not living up to your potential? What does this say about our attitude toward blue collar work? Is it possible that some people see value in the kind of jobs are so identified with the life stages of high-schooler/college undergrad?
    In many ways we are a coddled generation compared to others- but I believe some people take so long to ‘grow up’ because we no longer see the need to follow a pre-set life script in order to prove you’ve ‘grown up’ or have ‘made it’ in life (career, house, wife and kids), and at the risk of sounding like a self indulgent twentysomething, some people find meaning in accomplishments, others in experiences.
    Everyone does need to be responsible, financially independent and not a freeloader- but some just take different routes to achieve this. I ended up taking a very different route because of a chronic, severe gastrointestinal illness that plagued me all through college and really impacted my life. I spent so much time and energy just managing it and shut away from a lot of life that when I came out of it I felt so much younger (rather than older) than everyone else, and my values were so very different- I didn’t care about a secure job that paid well- I cared about doing different things that gave me joy, made me feel useful and allowed me to feel like I’d contributed in some small way to someone’s happiness. I’m taking a long time to grow up, but I’m trying in the meantime to be the best overgrown (insert mental age) person I can be to the people around me.

    Also I do think the living-with-parents thing is also partially cultural. A lot of Asian cultures (including mine) indeed prefer multigenerational households. It’s not about mooching off people, but helping each other out as family. It’s not who you live with, it’s why, and whether it’s healthy for you and them.
    Anyway sorry for the ramble lol- all the best on your own amazing journey!

    • Thanks for your comment. Though it’s an old post, I think it is definitely evergreen.

      When I say a “real job” I am not talking about just white collar work. I happen to work in career and technical ed so I’m quite familiar with multiple pathways and understand the need for blue collar workers as well. I think you get at what I was saying later on. It’s about responsibility. And in reply to your living with parents being a cultural thing, I think you are right in some instances, but in the ones I was referring to, it was more of a free-loading situation. I’m all for trial and error and I get the boomerang generation stuff but if you are staying home just because you are lazy or have unrealistic expectations of what living alone should be like, then you really gotta grow up!

      Thanks for stopping by. Hope you come back soon!

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