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Millennials Don’t Consider Themselves Adults Until They Reach This Milestone


A Georgia Tech University professor found students in her class did not consider themselves as adults until having children.

English professor Rebekah Fitzsimmons taught “Adulting: Coming of Age in 21st Century America” in the fall 2016 semester, according to Business Insider Monday. Fitzsimmons found through the essays she had her students write that many did not see themselves as adults even if they graduated college or got their first jobs.

“I joked with him that my definition was, you’re paying your own rent, you have your health insurance,” Fitzsimmons said, Business Insider reported. “That’s what I think being an adult is. But they said, you know, once you have kids, that’s it — you’re definitely an adult.”

Millennials are holding off on marriage and having kids though.

The median marriage age for men is close to 30 years old while the median age for women is about 28 years old, according to November 2018 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The media age for men was around 27 while for women was near 25 in 2000.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also found women in their 30s were having more babies while women in their 20s were having less in 2016.

College students could be holding off marriage and children to make up for the increasing cost of higher education, according to Business Insider.

The average amount of debt owed by public and private nonprofit college students was nearly $29,000 in 2017, according to nonprofit education research and advocacy organization The Institute for College Access & Success.

“Right now my students are coming to college and they’re not like, ‘Oh, this is great. I’m going to kind of figure things out. I’m gonna find my dream job,’” Fitzsimmons said. “They’re like, ‘I am sinking in the cost of this college education. It better get me back out.’”

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