Twentysomethings & the longer and winding road to adulthood
November 8, 2011
Today’s twentysomethings, particularly those armed with college degrees and facing high unemployment rates, are marrying later, committing to careers later and perhaps even relying on their parents far longer than twentysomethings of previous generations. Many young people view their twenties as a time to explore their personal and professional options without serious obligations. And given that they will be working longer and living into their 80s and 90s, does it matter if they put off “settling down” until their late 20s or early 30s? Maybe today’s twentysomethings are better off and will benefit in the long run from taking more time to figure things out. Our two guests think so. JEFFREY JENSEN ARNETT is a sociologist who coined the phrase “emerging adulthood,” which he describes as a period of life that provides a rich and varied time for self-discovery. Twentysomething writer HANNAH SELIGSON says that today’s twentysomethings are using their time productively and are building a life, just in a different way than their parents.