I’m 20-something – Where’s my…?

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Hey – I went to college and got a degree…where’s my high-paying entry-level job?

This is SO not fair…when we were kids, EVERYONE got a trophy just for being on the team!

What was so “constructive” about that criticism? You ATTACKED me! I don’t DESERVE that kind of treatment…

Entitlement, victim-mentality and unrealistic expectation…all thanks to socially-accepted coddled conditioning over the past two decades. This plague is HUGE right now, thanks to the volume of “new adults” who grew up in this environment. It’s alarming, and I know I’m not the only one who has noticed it with new employees, nieces and nephews, or maybe even our own kids.

Many 20-somethings still live at home, rent-free…car-insurance covered…with free-meals from a loving Mommy. Excuses abound – from both sides – on why delayed-entry into adulthood is necessary and financially feasible.

The truth? Excuses are just that…excuses.

There are three important personal characteristics missing with many of these “new adults;” characteristics that are crucial in taking the ‘delay’ out of ‘delayed entry into real life.’

It’s time to use tougher language to drive the point home…it’s time the 20-something becomes a participant in real life, rather than a passenger – still strapped into the car seat.

I’m fully aware this doesn’t apply to everyone, but I know YOU know many people who could stand to hear this…reality:

Advice, reality check, whatever you want to call it; if you’re 20-something and still dependent on Mom and Dad…let me make myself perfectly clear – I don’t think you’re an idiot…I don’t think your lazy…I don’t think you’re worthless.

I’m just not sure characteristics like personal pride, independent responsibility, and focused determination made it through during your more protected upbringing. That’s not your fault – but it will be, if you don’t quickly realize you need to fix that.

I know too many of you with thin-skin, crushed by constructive criticism, still living in your room (rent-free) at Mommy and Daddy’s house – car-insurance paid for, meals included – allowing fear and frustration with failure to glue you to the nest.

Stop it – here’s three spoonfuls of reality that were never truly hammered home with you…

1) No one owes you anything. Ever. Get over it, and get over yourself. You owe everything to everyone else who’s given you a hand up – from those who changed your diapers to the teachers and coaches who urged you study and train harder for next year. The best part? – This isn’t expensive…All they want in return – is for you to be independent, focused and happy with the man you’ve become and continue to aspire to be. They want you to have personal pride – when are you going to want that for yourself?

2) Birthdays, milestones, graduations – these don’t guarantee or “entitle” you to a damn thing. Trophies, diplomas and degrees are just plastic and paper – those milestones are just doorways. You have to actually get up off you ass, put the work-in and walk THROUGH the door if you’re going to make anything out of yourself. Of course you don’t think so now – but studying was the easy part – real life is the test. You’re still eating out of Mom and Dad’s fridge – how do you think you’re scoring on this exam?

3) She’s nice and all – But something tells me she’d be even more impressed with the man you are if you were responsible…for yourself. That demonstrates the worth of a man – regardless of age…or in many cases, prolonged adolescent development. And if she doesn’t love you more because you’re broke – but independent from Mom and Dad – do you really want to spend your life with a materialistic leach like that anyway?

Just make up your mind – focus on one thing…I want to be proud of myself because I’m independent. When you root that into your character – all of the scary aspects of real-life like hard-work, making ends meet, doing what you have to to get by – that stuff becomes easy, because you do it out of necessity.

You’re going to fail – we all do – but enjoy it…because that’s where the lessons and strength of character develop. Think of just how much more respect your Mom and Dad will have for you…when this personal pride and determination to achieve independence become your defining characteristics. It’s nice when they offer a hand up because they WANT to – not because they HAVE to…