Once upon a time, you turned 30 and you already had it all: a spouse, a house, a job, and a passel of kids. But even before the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on our lives, thirtysomethings’ expectations for their own lives were changing, both by choice and by necessity. Today, they’re getting married later if at all, having fewer kids, taking on more debt, and moving back in with their parents. Is economic upheaval and inequality the primary force behind these shifts? And why do traditional landmarks like getting married still exert such a pull on our psyches? Journalist Kayleen Schaefer conducted hundreds of interviews with researchers and millennials across the country to understand how this generation is redefining adulthood.
Go beyond the episode:
- Kayleen Schaefer’s But You’re Still So Young: How Thirtysomethings Are Redefining Adulthood
- One landmark millennials do seem to be hitting? Burnout. Read Anne Helen Petersen’s essay “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation”
- Read Paula Marantz Cohen’s essay “This Side of Paradise,” or Edward Hoagland’s “A Country for Old Men” about the final landmark one traverses: seniority
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