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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

20 is the new 30

According to the Pew Research Center, in 1960 72 percent of people 18 years or older were married. In 2009 that number was 51 percent.

Some things are quintessential to your early twenties like IKEA furniture and crappy apartments. Also quintessential are all of the choices and mistakes we undoubtedly have to make.

A lot of things have changed since our parents were in their twenties a long long time ago. For example, if I were to do what my mother did at my age I would already be engaged and getting married next year. But I, like many in my generation, am not following in my parent’s footsteps.

The Pew Research Center found that in 1960 72 percent of people 18 years or older were married. In 2009 that number was 51 percent. The center also expects this rate to drop about 5 percent every year. So why is it that we are waiting longer and longer to get married?

Of course a lot of this is do to the fact that it is no longer as convenient to be married so young, especially with more people (especially women) furthering their education even beyond bachelors degrees. However the fact does remain that our economy is in rough shape and some twenty-something’s do see it convenient to move in with their boyfriend/girlfriend.

Dr. Meg Jay, author of “The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter – And How to Make the Most of Them Now,” describes a phenomenon called “Lock In” which says that once you share things like rent, furniture, pets and friends it’s much harder to get out of a relationship and way more complicated to simply break up. So be advised that although it may seem convenient now, it might not be so easy down the road.

Because of the job market today, finding a job is much harder than it ever was and this is making twenty-something’s delay pursuing their career interests. Basically, there aren’t any rules anymore. There’s no right and wrong time to do anything, so we’re left simply trying to figure everything out for ourselves.

It’s easy to feel like everything would be better if our adult milestones were clearly laid out before us. These days, something as simple as having a career right out of college isn’t a guarantee. As difficult as things are for our generation, at least there is room for trial and error.

So what does being 20-something mean today? It means that we have everything ahead of us and a lot more time to make mistakes. That pressure to get your life together isn’t falling on us as early as it used to, leaving us with a lot more room to grow and to change our minds.

We shouldn’t be afraid to switch career paths once or even a few times until we find something that we’re truly happy doing. We shouldn’t feel stuck in any relationship because we don’t feel like something better might come along (we still have so much time), and most of all we shouldn’t feel like we should already be what everyone expects us to be. We have so much room to build and change, and that is also quintessential to being a 20-something today.