Coming of Age in Today’s Competitive Society

When I was little, all I wanted to do was grow up and be independent. I played with my dolls like they were my own children and cooked with my imaginary kitchen set pretending I was making dinner. Thinking about growing up and being independent now as a college student, is more scary then ever. As college students, we perceive the real world as a terrifying place. College acts as our safe little bubble where we do not worry about income, rent, or taxes. Stepping out into the world after college is unsettling to even wrap one’s brain around. Life and reality quickly become real. You should see the look on college seniors faces when you ask, “So what are your plans for after college?” The world has become less and less embracing due to the high price of living, stress of finding a job, growing student loans and debt, and the possibility that their parents will no longer financially support them. In addition, it has become so hard to get jobs after college despite having a college degree. The competition is higher and more fierce than ever, which forces new graduates to become less independent as they are encouraged to move back in with their parents. Silva adds, “…working-class young men and women are growing up in world without solidarities and without safety nets, leaving them wary and distrustful in their interactions with others” (9). Not having a safety net to fall back on after college continues to be a source of anxiety as these individuals are still trying to get their feet on the ground while finding a job and while still try to discover who they are as individuals. Silva also mentions, “…both popular and scholarly depictions of the Millenials often portray the transition to adulthood as a process of self-exploration in which young people try out different identities and lifestyles” (3). In today’s society, finding oneself in the transition to adulthood has taken the place of finding a partner and settling down right away. Everything has become delayed and slowed, as the process to adulthood has become more challenging. Clearly, our generation is facing unique conditions as college students and new graduates are struggling to find themselves, their place in society, and constantly fighting for jobs. The real world is not all dolls and kitchen sets, but instead a confusing battlefield.

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