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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Millennials find it harder to Adult

Last week I failed to be an adult in several ways. On Tuesday I spent all day in my pajamas and watched the entire season of Stranger Things. On several nights of the week I had a bowl of cereal for dinner, and I still have a load of laundry sitting in the dryer.

When did becoming an adult get so difficult? The further I progress into collegiate life the more responsibilities I have to take on and they’re starting to get difficult to keep up with. Everything from basic tasks like keeping up with chores, applying for FASFA, saving up for the future and balancing a budget every month make being an adult difficult.

And I’m not alone. Many young adults and millennials are finding that the responsibilities of adult life can be hard to keep up with. The term “adulting” has become commonplace on social media feeds, it describes the act doing anything that is required of adult life. It’s usually basic stuff like being a productive member of society, paying rent, or getting up on time for a 9-5 job.

At least it used to be basic stuff. That’s the sentiment that you can pick up on twitter if you look at tweets with the hashtag adulting. Some complain about the difficulties of having to live on your own and others celebrate how they have successfully been a productive adult that day. Either way they are pushing the idea that being a responsible adult is a difficult task and are sharing it widely on social media.

The prevalence of the term “adulting” in social media and even on college campuses with classes like Adulting 101 right here at Chico reveals something about the millennial generation it surrounds. What the terms pervasiveness seems to imply is that as a group we lack some or most of the skills required of adult life.

One possibility for how our generation came to lack these skills is the helicopter parenting that many of the children of the 90s and early 2000s experienced. The term was first coined in the early 90s and attributed to the baby-boomer parents enforcing strict rules and closely watching the lives of their millennial children. This style of parenting involved a lot of hand holding and a significant portion of the responsibility of being a teenager or young adult being taken off of their children. This could have left millennials with less experience getting the minutia of life done, and led to them struggling to figure things out once they were out on their own.

But I’m not convinced that we are at such a large disadvantage. Sure we might have missed the lesson on what a checkbook is and how to balance it, but we can google things. Generations before us had to learn things from scratch if they didn’t know how to do something. We, on the other hand, can just look it up.

Being an adult has always been difficult. Transitioning from adolescence to adulthood has always come with growing pains. Nowadays we just share our difficulties in the transition on social media, which is where the perception that millennials are bad at being adults comes from.

So keep calm, google what the heck a FICO score is and go kick adult life’s butt.

Evan Roberts can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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