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Something a parent thinks about: Long Road to Adulthood Is Growing Even Longer :

People between 20 and 34 are taking longer to finish their educations, establish themselves in careers, marry, have children and become financially independent . . . .  Marriage and parenthood — once seen as prerequisites for adulthood — are now viewed more as lifestyle choices, according to a new report released by Princeton University and the Brookings Institution.

You think, for example, of decreasing fertility and the pain of couples you’ve known who couldn’t conceive, and of how human biology does not obey our ideas of the good life, which is a lesson young people tend only to learn with experience. (This tendency may be increased by a society that has warned them almost since kindergarten of the dangers of pregnancy so that they assume getting pregnant must be really easy and will go on being so.)

And you think also, at least I do, of how much of this putting off of adulthood is not just the result of new goals, like more women getting advanced degrees before marrying, but simply of the twenties becoming a new adolescence, a time to enjoy life without pressure, without having to accomplish anything specific, to experiment and taste, without having to make a commitment that will form the rest of your life. (Which is even more adolescent than adolescence, since then the kids were working to get into good schools, etc.)  It’s the aimlessness of it that bothers me, the not going anywhere in particular.

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