7 Milestones That Have Totally Changed For 20-Somethings


Milestone: Preparing for your career

Our parents: Pay your way through college, get a degree in something that will make money (business, accounting, nursing), move directly into a career position.

Us: Hi student loans, would you like to begin a 10+ year courtship with me? Cool. Major in something that’s interesting because the average person changes careers 7 or more times and you’d rather be educated as a whole than set for 1/7 careers. Cool modern invention: unpaid internships.

Milestone: Career stability

Our parents: Get a professional job right out of college and work at the same company for 40 years. Job-hopping is bad!

Us: We saw our friends and coworkers (or ourselves, #dark) get laid off in The Great Recession. Stability isn’t about working a 40 hour a week job for someone else anymore. New career stability is having your own side business, learning how to hustle, freelancing at many places, or some combination of this. We want to run our own game.

Milestone: Buddying up

Our parents: Have a few adult relationships, get married around age 25. Possible divorce and remarriage around age 45.

Us: Long string of 2-year monogamous relationships. Choosing a person to try to love forever is still a milestone but it might not be celebrated with marriage and it certainly isn’t happening at age 25.

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Milestone: Living Arrangements

Our parents: Buy a home in the suburbs. Congrats! You’ve truly made it.

Us: Paying rent and living with roommates so we can live in an interesting area and not be tied down to something we may or may not be able to sell if we’d ever like to move somewhere else. Mobility is important.

Milestone: Having kids

Our parents: Have kids in your mid-20s, make your life about them.

Us: Fertility issues are a huge thing now because we’re putting off having kids until we find a life buddy. Having kids is also a terrible thing for your career, if you’re a woman, so it takes longer to feel at a good place to invite a huge (lovable) interruption into your life. People who have kids young probably fit more into their parents generational values than their own.

Milestone: Recreation

Our parents: Work hard in order to experience recreation milestones like buying a boat and going on vacation.

Us: Follow your interests so that your everyday life isn’t such a bummer that you feel exhausted by it and need to escape. If whatever is paying your bills isn’t your passion, your Tumblr presence probably is.

Milestone: Retirement

Our parents: Yay!

Us: LOL. Byeeee.

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image –Riza Nugraha