As I suggested Monday, there are economic reasons why some young adults are still living in their parents’ basements. There may be some emotional and developmental ones as well.
According to Jeffrey Arnett, a psychology professor at Clark University in Worcester, MA, young adults are extending their journey of self-discovery up to a new “age 30 deadline.”
He calls this “emerging adulthood.” Arnett is hopeful, which is more than can be said for all the parents who are still paying for cell phones and car insurance. He told Time magazine, “emerging adults develop skills for daily living, gain a better understanding of who they are and what they want from life and begin to build a foundation for their adult lives.”
But perhaps sloth and a sense of entitlement are also factors, extending adolescence far beyond its historic boundaries. Peer dependency might contribute as well— the notion you can find out anything important by asking clueless friends.
The temptation to let others finance or enable ones own pleasure and idleness is great, a self-focus described by Shakespeare in his 62nd sonnet:
Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
And all my soul and all my every part;
And for this sin there is no remedy,
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
So yes, they may be “emerging.” Many are broke too. I get it. But growing up is a choice.
And not growing up is too. A very poor one.
[Comment? Is this an economic problem? A developmental issue? A spiritual one?]