What is it about analyzing 20-somethings?

What is it about analyzing Generation Y that everyone loves so much (I’m talking to you, too, Gen Y bloggers) ?

Yet another article has been making the rounds, examining why we are all special and precious and therefore don’t have to work or take on any adult responsibilities.  As you can probably guess, these kinds of treatsies make the immigrant kid in me super-mad.

Another Maslow reference, another link to a study that conveniently proves what the author is trying to say and, viola! 20-somethings are lazy, precocious, and super-optimistic, which is why we have to handle them (us) with kid gloves as they go through emerging adulthood.

I hate this term, emerging adulthood.   To me, what it means is that you are rich and American and mommy and daddy are still paying bills for you, as the article points out:

While the complaints of these young people are heartfelt, they are also the complaints of the privileged. Julie, a 23-year-old New Yorker and contributor to “20 Something Manifesto,” is apparently aware of this. She was coddled her whole life, treated to French horn lessons and summer camp, told she could do anything. “It is a double-edged sword,” she writes, “because on the one hand I am so blessed with my experiences and endless options, but on the other hand, I still feel like a child. I feel like my job isn’t real because I am not where my parents were at my age. Walking home, in the shoes my father bought me, I still feel I have yet to grow up.”

God forbid a child is told she could do anything and have French horn lessons, too.  I hope she brings this up with her psychologist at her weekly sessions, paid for by Helicopter Mom and Dad.

Who doesn’t have angst, though, about that “transitional period in their lives”?  People who don’t have time to think about why French horn lessons are ruining their soul:

EVEN ARNETT ADMITS that not every young person goes through a period of “emerging adulthood.” It’s rare in the developing world, he says, where people have to grow up fast, and it’s often skipped in the industrialized world by the people who marry early, by teenage mothers forced to grow up, by young men or women who go straight from high school to whatever job is available without a chance to dabble until they find the perfect fit. Indeed, the majority of humankind would seem to not go through it at all. The fact that emerging adulthood is not universal is one of the strongest arguments against Arnett’s claim that it is a new developmental stage. If emerging adulthood is so important, why is it even possible to skip it?

Is it really a new developmental stage?  Or is it just the fact that EVERY human being goes through doubt and feelings of regressing to childhood when they are faced with big life changes but that people who are real adults deal with them with grace and humor and not by majoring in Photography and then living at home for the next ten years.

I honestly cannot stand any more of these articles that massage our collective generation’s ego.

And then. And THEN.  There is a photo gallery of what it’s like to be 20-something in the 2010s.  Let me give you the Cliffnotes if you don’t feel like looking at 20 self-indulgent pictures of hipsters in Brooklyn:



“I am SO angsty about my future that I will now go to a coffeehouse and write about it on my MacBook.
Why, oh, why God, did I have to be born  middle-class and college-educated in America?
This is, like, the worst thing you could have done to me!”