I've read a lot of articles in the last few weeks that seem like they were written for the express purpose of making me feel like less of a sub-human being and more like a... future valued-member-of-society-who-just-hasn't-been-given-the-chance-to-shine. This New York Times article is the latest in this series and fortunately could not come at a better time:
Just when parents thought they might finally be free of their children, many of this year’s college graduates will pick up their degrees — and move back home. Even those who don’t may continue to live off the parental dole...
But this is not necessarily the nightmare scenario it’s made out to be. Our research shows that the closer bonds between young adults and their parents should be celebrated, and do not necessarily compromise the independence of the next generation.
Phew, I really needed that. The writer goes on to explain that my parents' generation, when faced with the trials of graduating high school and college and being dumped out into a society rife with unemployment and uncertainty, depended on the advice (for better or for worse) of their own peers. You can see how that'd quickly cause some problems, most of which I'm sure could never be attributed to any of the late 20th century's social uprisings. But my generation, on the other hand, retains a symbiotic relationship with our parents and guardians that may not be the worst thing that could happen to us.
A personal example. This week, I discovered that my income (or complete lack of any, considering that I haven't had a job since February) wasn't going to raise my cash-on-hand up above this coming month's expenses... the credit card companies were going to be asking for my hard-saved money and when they pried it away from me, I was going to be left with, uh... less than enough for my countless expenses (food).
25 years ago (or with the mindset that "I can take on the world all by myself, I don't need anyone's help!") I might have closed my eyes and randomly picked one of my three credit cards to carry over a balance, leading to increased debt. And just like those Comcast commercials, this simple decision would have led me to joining a gang, losing an arm, and missing my chance to become a blackbelt in karate.
But instead, I called my mom! And 15 minutes later (and with a small, but generous, loan) I had a plan for how I'd stay afloat for another few weeks. Now I can pursue my dreams of martial arts glory.
In closing, a large part of the world doesn't see any problem with this. Many cultures actually expect children to live with their parents into adulthood and someday support them. Other countries are faced with the actual need for children to contribute to their parents' income and well-being... at least in America we have the choice, and I don't think it's one that we should be ashamed of having.