By Eric Robertson, MiraCosta College
My name is Eric Robertson and I’m a Professor of Communication at MiraCosta College. For the last 10 years I’ve been teaching in San Diego County, and during that time I have worked with thousands of Millennials. These individuals have grown up with different circumstances than previous generations. Recession, war, and technology have been some of the unique influences that shape their worldview. Below are a few points to consider when thinking about this group.
In the 2010s, the median marriage age in the US is 30 years old.
Compare this to 23 years old in the 1970s.
Millennials have grown up in a time with much economic turmoil. Some suggest that this has led to a need for more stability and career progress before making large commitments.
29.9% of Millennials lived at home with their parents in 2010.
There are different ways that this can be interpreted. Are Millennials so lazy that they refuse to grow up and move out? Or are they so responsible that they want to save money and take advantage of the stability of having a place to live? Or have we created a culture where Baby Boomers refuse to let go? All of these positions can be argued, however, regardless of the reasons we can agree the trend suggests that Millennials are taking things a bit more slowly than previous generations.
The mean student loan balance for a 25 year old is $20,926.
Millennials have experienced rising tuition costs and significant student loan debt as they enter into the workforce. This has even effected the way that older Millennials see college as well, and according to CNN Money nearly half of parents in their early thirties intend to foot their kids’ full college bill.
Every generation has unique situations that influence them. Whether it was Woodstock, MTV, or the selfie, as technology and culture progress people learn to adapt and change with it. Millennials will encounter difficulties and opportunities that they will need to deal with, but my experience tells me that they are up for the challenge.