Baby Boomers to Boomerang Babies

How is it that our society can move from a generation where everyone is having kids, to a generation where no one can afford to have kids? Many of us have become victims in this “boomerang generation.” For anyone who doesn’t know what this term means, it refers to a young adult having to move back home with their parents for reasons such as finances, divorce, or single parenthood. Most of us move back home because of the economy.  Our society today makes it difficult for our generation to grow up and be able to have lives of our own. I also believe this is a contributing factor to the rise in ages of first marriage for men and women today.

The media’s take on this idea of having to move back home often involves men, when in fact, it is more common for women to return home, especially after college. Why does the media portray men more than women in this light? Here is a McDonald’s commerical I saw on tv that is a perfect example. While searching for the video, I found that I was not the only person that could relate. There has been a lot of talk on the internet about how this is one of the most realistic commercials aired on television recently.

When asked where Will lives, his thoughts share with the viewer that it’s the only place he can afford. His mom walks him into his room, just like he left it. I think it is funny how he plays with words and calls his room a great loft space. Many of us, can relate to this commercial, and although it shows some humor, it is actually a serious topic that young adults cannot afford to live on their own anymore.

Another commercial that shows a young adult living back home is this Toyota Venza commercial from 2011. Again, the character is male. He moved back home after college and claims he was worried about his parents. The fact is, he most likely moved home because he had to. In the commercial, it looks like he is just returning home from work to make a microwave dinner.

I remember having expectations when I was younger, and envisioning my future much different than it has turned out so far. Growing up, it was weird or unusual if a twenty-something was still living at home with their parents. Now, it is a common occurence and is understood. I myself have had to move back home to save money. I lived on my own, but found it way too expensive, I was living paycheck to paycheck. A lot of people I know personally have also had to move back home, or there are those who have yet to leave home. I can only hope that the next generation does not have it any worse. While many of us have the luxury of returning to the nest where we can live under our parent’s roof, the next generation may not be as fortunate. Hopefully when we become parents, we can afford to have our children return home if they have to.

About gabrielleherion

I am a senior at Old Dominion.
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2 Responses to Baby Boomers to Boomerang Babies

  1. One way this could be measured versus previous generations would be to find the average length of time young adults live at home before establishing their own household. So, for example, I lived at home after I graduated from college probably for about 9 months before I got an apartment with my girl friend. This was 1999. What was the average length of time a 22 year old lived at home in 1999 versus the present? Or, another way we could ask the question is: What is the average age of adult children living at home and is the average age getting older?

    • gabrielleherion says:

      It would be interesting to do a study about this. If one has not been done already. I am confident the results would show the average length of living at home is longer now than it was when you were younger. Also I believe the average age today is higher than it was in the past.

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