Today’s post comes from Ypulse team member Casandra Liggin.
The Drawbacks of Being A Boomerang Kid
The day I left to go to college, I knew there was no looking back. As my parents drove away and left me all alone in my dorm room, I knew the adolescent chapter of my life was closing for good. Sure, my parents would have let me come back home if I had experienced a major medical emergency, but anything short of that was pushing it. They had been prepping me for independence from the time I entered high school. I knew it was my duty to not only graduate with a degree, but also graduate with the type of degree that would allow me to be 100% self-sufficient. Going back home just wasn’t an option and I’m not so sure that was a bad thing.
I’m an Xer, but for Millennials today, going home may be their first option. Yes, many members of this generation have been fondly described as “boomerang kids” because they are returning home after college for not a week or even a month, but to stay indefinitely. A recent Pew study reports that 41% of adults between 25 and 29 are now living or have lived recently, with their parents. Several are doing this because of the recession and the lack of self-sustaining jobs, while others truly don’t mind going back home to live with their parents. Millennials consider their parents to be their friends and a part of their primary support network. I’m also sure living at home provides more comfort than sleeping on a friend’s couch.
Other Millennials are pained by the idea of settling for a less than ideal occupation rather than pursuing their passions. I think passions are wonderful, I truly do. But I also believe in working until one can draft the desired path to achieve their passion. Work experience of any kind is extremely valuable as it teaches you what you like and dislike in a job and how to communicate with diverse personalities. I would argue that one could learn more behind the counter of a Starbucks than sitting in front of a laptop sipping a caramel macchiato at their local coffee shop pondering their next professional move.
Could it be that some parents may be doing their children a disservice by allowing them to wave their hands in defeat and retreat to the safety of home before giving it the old college try at adulthood?
If I could do it all over again and graduate with a degree more aligned with my passions would I do it? Sure. Knowing what I know now, of course. But, at the time, I knew there wasn’t a safety net. I also knew that I would have to figure out how to survive and take care of myself, so I chose a career that would allow me to do just that and I have no regrets. Maybe today’s parents are too quick to provide a soft landing for fear that their child will get bruised by life or dare I say it, rejected. From my experience, the sooner you experience disappointment, the quicker you learn to pick yourself back up, dust yourself off, and get back in the game. In addition, resourcefulness is a skill I’m most proud of and wouldn’t have attained unless put in a sink or swim situation. Luckily, I’ve learned to swim many times over.
Casandra has always had an interest in understanding and meeting client expectations from her early days as an Account Executive at various media firms to her more recent role as a Director at a technology company within the market research industry. She is passionate about inspiring clients to grasp the Millennial mindset that will carry their business into the future. Casandra lives in Brooklyn and enjoys discovering new ways to fall in love with NYC all over again.