Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Art of Adulthood - Dr. Helen » Is Twenty-Five the New Fifteen?

Dr. Helen » Is Twenty-Five the New Fifteen?:
"even young people who appear to be succeeding by conventional standards wake up in their mid-twenties clueless about how to find a job, manage money, cook, or live on their own. They are educated but unable to care for themselves. “Twenty-five is now becoming the new fifteen.”"
This past week, I've come across basically this same idea in three or four different places where I ramble around the interwebs. It seems like it's in the zeitgeist--we're none of us prepared for what it really means to be an adult, and what it means to get from being a kid to being an adult. I think that's where sites like The Art of Manliness* come from; it's grown men realizing that they're not really grown men. It's where all these dumb gross-out comedies come from; adults with the humor of twelve-year-olds. It's where we get these women who are in their 30s and 40s and still dress like they're just starting college. It's where the Kids These Days come from--and why they can't seem to do anything or care about anything or whatever**.

And it's something I keep running into in my own life. I went to college when I was supposed to--and then spent six years there because the Real World was too scary. When I graduated, I spent five years trying to figure out how to be adult and post-grad, and basically discovered that I don't know how. So I went back to school, which didn't really help much, because now as I'm facing graduation again, I have the same problems of conceptualization with an older self and a worse financial situation!

So it's a big part of what I'm figuring out, and if this is the universe pointing me toward what I need to know, I'm grateful. But I think it's more than that. I think there's a generation or a generation and a half that's realizing that we're unprepared, and that old ways of being prepared no longer apply, should have been applied ages ago when we were actually kids, or were hateful and that's why they were never applied...but what takes their place?

I aim to find out.

And I'll talk about the process of finding out here on the blog.

Thoughts, gentle readers? Have you felt like this is an issue in your own lives?

*If you look at the site, it's not really entirely about manliness. A lot of what they're saying there applies as well to girls as boys, and therefore it's secretly a website about being an adult.
**This is a stereotype, and I know it, but it's held up by enough that it exists, and there is definitely this feeling among the kids I know that it's cool not to care, to hate violently, to have this really warped idea of what being adult means, and to look forward to being able to do whatever they want instead of being useful and well-rounded people.
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