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by
Helen Smith

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March 16, 2012 - 4:53 am

Three out of ten young adults are now living with Mom and Dad:

After graduating from Brown University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature and completing a Fulbright scholarship in Brazil, Cassie Owens was left with a few dollars on her stipend and no job in sight. So, Ms. Owens returned home to her mother in Philadelphia…..

Take Owens. Because well-paying jobs are hard to come by, she says, “a lot of people are going where their heart is and trying to have a good experience. In the past, they would have been content settling for a [traditional job]. Now no one’s willing to make pennies at a job they hate, so a lot of people are pursuing the stuff they really love….”

“Will a ding to their wages at an important juncture haunt them for years? Will a generation that has been told they can be and do anything – without many challenges as of yet – be resilient enough to withstand this setback?” she says. “Only time will tell.”

So many young adults are living with parents because they don’t want to take a job they might not like or that doesn’t pay as much as they think they are worth with the Brown degree that everyone probably told them was the path to riches, or at least the good life. I wonder what will happen when the generation of parents that support these kids who are too busy chasing their dreams to actually work are gone? Who will support their dreams then? Or will the new dream be just to put food on the table?

Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues in Knoxville, Tennessee, and blogs at Dr. Helen.
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