Our Youth-Obsessed Culture: Why Gen-Y Doesn't Want To Grow Up

by Cassandra Bustamante

Our 20s are the best years of our lives, and our culture loves being as young, wild and free as our experiences make us feel. We live for the moment, have no regrets, and believe all that life has to offer is ours for the taking. We have high hopes for ourselves, and we're in no rush to own the house with the white picket fence, work a steady job, get married and have our 2.5 kids. Our carefree lifestyle has our elders criticizing us for being lazy, immature and out of control.

And they might have a point. We can be incredibly idealistic and at times get lost in our own grand life adventures. Here are the reasons why we have yet to grow the f*ck up:

We Want To Be 21 Forever

If our 20s are the best years of our lives, then why wouldn't we want to stay in our 20s forever? The parties, the high times, the drunken nights, and the fun we had on the weekends we barely remember. We all want to savor the most epic moments we've had with our friends and we want them to keep happening again and again, year after year without fail. Ask any Millennial about their thoughts on marriage and watch them have an anxiety attack.

We Are Afraid Of Change

We think we have forever to start our lives. We want to be successful, but we are too lazy and too scared to do anything different than what we do daily. Major life decisions require effort and commitment, which usually require change. We like to be comfortable by nature. Change is often a sign of time passing, and the more that things change around us, the more we notice we’re getting older and that we need to get our sh*t together. No one wants to be reminded of that.

We Don’t Know How To Nurture Long Term Relationships

We think we still have a few years to date casually. We don’t like the idea of being tied down or weighed down by problems, so we say f*ck it. We quit when sh*t gets too complicated. We have no idea how to think more about someone else than ourselves. Intimacy we figure we’ll master later, when we get serious with someone, whenever that happens.

We’re Bad At Handling Our Money

We’re kids, so we spend money like kids. We don’t have to worry about anyone else but ourselves so we throw our money at new phone releases, jewelry, watches, purses, shoes, clothes, and of course, our party favors of the weekend when we can show off all our new toys. Why would we ever think to save money for the future when we could spend it now?

We Have Short Attention Spans

Our ADD generation is easily distracted. We are supercharged by wants and motivated by our goals - that is, until we get distracted. We become distracted by whatever is more enticing at the moment. It’s like your bed when you feel like you want a nap, or the person you met at the bar last week. We start to wander off at the first sight of a better opportunity for instant gratification.

Maybe we need a reality check. Depressing as it may be, we’re not going to be in our 20s forever. We need to get outside of our comfort zones, and start making necessary changes to start living better lives. Sustained effort must be put forth to pave the way for our careers. We won’t live up to our potential if we don’t get it together.

Relationships, too, need effort, whether they are casual or long term. We’re not going to wake up one day and be the perfect boyfriend or girlfriend. At some point, we have to learn to give and accept love to be in a relationship worth having. Maybe we don’t need to incessantly buy everything our heart desires, either.

Money comes and goes, but we need to be sure that we have it when we need it most. We can’t allow distractions to get the best of us; we need to stay focused on what’s important. Our 20s may be the best times of our lives, but we can’t forget to grow up by the time it’s all said and done.

Top Photo Credit: Kirill Was Here