A young man, having recently graduated with a degree from a four-year university program, moves home and back in with his parents.
At dinner his first evening back with his parents, his father says, “I can’t believe my son is moving back in with his parents. You should be out making a name for yourself ! That’s what I did at your age! And your mother and I started out with nothing!”
With a sigh, the young man sets down his cutlery.
Thinking of his five-figure student debt, he answers his father, “Believe me, Dad, I would have loved to start out with just nothing!”
It’s a situation becoming all too familiar. Young men and women graduated or graduating are moving back in with their parents and as such are being dubbed the ‘Boomerang generation.’
Members of the this generation also get a bad rap as being ‘weak’ for not being able to make it on their own right after graduation. Times are tough for new grads, but if their parents’ generation could hack it, so should the most recent crop of graduates, right?
Things may have been tough for the parents of these ‘boomerangers’ too, but nothing like they are today.
For graduates just starting their lives today, debts are greater, jobs are scarcer and cost of living is higher.
With the government continuing to cut funding, post-secondary institutions are passing the cost onto the students with higher tuition fees.
With few job prospects, new grads have trouble finding a decent-paying job. Without a decent job, they can’t afford to pay off that mountain of debt not to mention rent, food, or anything else.
The choice seems pretty clear. Live in squalor, or live with mom and dad. Even those who don’t move back home often still can’t make it on their own and end up making frequent withdrawals from the ‘Bank of Mom and Dad’ or going to their parents to co-sign lease agreements, loans for vehicles or simply help them make rent for the month.
So, the boomerang generation may be an appropriate title for those currently graduating from post-secondary institutions, but it’s not an entirely fair one.
It is not the fault of these young men and women that they can’t afford to live on their own. For the most part, these are people who would love to be out from under their parents’ roof and making a living for themselves.
However, they are not able to with what they have to work with.
More or less, they are victims of circumstance and are limited by that sad truth.