You may have heard that millennials are living at home more than young people in previous generations. In 2014, the number of young women living with their parents eclipsed their counterparts in 1940, and last year 43% of young men were living at home, which is the highest rate since 1940.
I'm trying to maintain an open mind about the economic struggles of millennials and not expand my own anecdotal experiences beyond reasonable boundaries, but I can't help but wonder if it's not high expectations rather than economic struggle that is keeping these people at home longer.
Do millennials expect more, and as a result, are less willing to live in substandard circumstances and struggle to survive?
When I think about how my friends and I lived during our post high school and college years, the one thing that marks that time is struggle.
- Tiny, cruddy apartments
- Cheap, carbohydrate-laden food
- Multiple roommates
- Exceptionally long working hours (often working two or three jobs to make ends meet)
- Few amenities.
We slept on floors and in closets. We drove dilapidated vehicles. We hung out in parking lots. We took dates to pizza places. It was not uncommon to have our electricity shut off from time to time.
And this wasn't the case for just me. The majority of people who I was growing up with after high school and college lived this way.
Again, perhaps my scope is limited, but as a young people, we preferred to eat elbow macaroni, sleep on floors, and watch black-and-white televisions rather than living with our parents.
Are millennials simply unwilling to endure such hardships given the way that the overly-indulged way that so many were raised, or are the economic realities of today truly more debilitating than my generation?
An honest question.