Nothing says college graduation like receiving tons.of.terrible.advice!
At your graduation party usually the father of a roommate or an uncle twice removed, The Grad Party Downer’s one goal is to corner you with a piece of cake and ask you enough probing questions, and give you “real world advice” until you feel like there’s a rather large butcher knife in your quickly deflating grad balloon.
I wrote about the Top 14 college graduation songs over the last 40 years and then the Top Five Things We Should’ve Heard at College Graduation. Now let’s talk about the seven WORST TIPS we give college grads.
7) So…what are your plans for the future?
It’s not a tip per say, but a question asked with enough smirk that you know he’s going to enjoy watching your desperate attempt to spin I have no freakin clue.
The future?! Hell if I know. My goal was to graduate. I accomplished that goal. The future scares me more than finding a four-foot clown hiding in my closest.
6) I heard of this thing called Craigslist where you can find jobs
A bed frame? Yes. A date for Friday night? Scary, but probably. A job? Like a real-live employment opportunity that won’t involve you showing up to an abandoned warehouse to meet a guy Vito at 8:00 p.m.? Not sure.
5) Well did you know my son is only 25 years old and has an amazing job at…(fill in the blank). Why don’t you contact him for advice?
Here’s where the bulk of the conversation will rest.
Brag Son-Session 101.
And if you’re a girl, he’s probably going to elude more than once that it’s your lucky day because his son might also just be free tonight (imagine that!)
4) Have you tried getting an internship?
It’s not a terrible idea in itself — when you were in college. But now there’s these things called rent. college loans. grocery bills. car insurance. health insurance. etc. At least try to land a paid internship, if you can. Experience is invaluable in the next couple years, yes. Just don’t sell your young soul to get it.
3) I think you need to meet with your career planning office at school
Yes. Thank you. I tried that. And the one career fair they put on was top-notch. Sure it was 352 students for every one job, and that one job was selling toilet paper. But they did give me a button and a mouse pad. My future is all set.
2) I don’t envy you trying to find a job in this economy. But don’t worry too much. It’s all in God’s hands…
Thank you for that final punch to the kidneys.
1) And the #1 worse tip…well you tell me. What do you think is the worse tip to give a recent college grad?
Are you a GROAN UP? Someone in that awkward limbo between growing and grown? If so, you’re not alone.
I recently unwrapped the theory of Emerging Adulthood, which suggests that there is a new developmental stage between the transition from adolescence to adult called “emerging adulthood”.
However, I’ve also been conducting my own less-than-academic research around emerging adulthood and my theory of being a GROAN UP. And after months of collecting answers from twentysomethings/thirtysomethings from around the World of Web-ernet (and sprinkling in my own), I present to you what it REALLY means to be ALL GROAN UP – someone in between growing and grown.
1. When you buy loads of cute accessories for your teenage sister, because
obviously you are too GROAN up to wear them! - Kay
2. The thought of becoming an adult makes you toss up a few Fruity Pebbles.
3. You see nothing wrong with still eating Fruity Pebbles.
4. You take your nieces to see cartoon movies just so you don’t look like a weirdo watching a kids movie – Linzy
5. TGIF still means something more to you (aka you might own the entire DVD set of Boy Meets World).
6. You de-stress by coloring with crayola crayons. - Cara
7. At the first sight of snow you hope work is cancelled tomorrow.
8. You stop laughing at Friends and start thinking that Joey’s comments about sex are inappropriate. – Josh
9. You’ve had a new job (or no job) nearly every year for a decade.
10. You still eat mac n cheese for dinner (but now add peas) – Robin
11. When Father’s Day is for YOU
12. When you realize YOU have to DEAL with the car mechanics instead of your dad doing it for you! – Linzy
13. You can’t believe you’re married
14. You can’t believe you’re NOT married
15. You still don’t really know how taxes work but you pretend like you do. ~ Katie
16. You still get called “the girl” at work – A Girl Who Dreams
17. You ironed your dress shirts for the first month of your new job, and then decided a much easier strategy was just to stop believing that wrinkles exists.
18. You say things like, “That Fred Savage was dreamy” ~ Blunt Delivery
19. You bring empty Tupperware to work to take home leftover office food
20. When you make comments like “I was NEVER allowed to wear something like that when I was her age…I wore stretch pants and an over-sized t-shirt!” ~ Alyssa
21. When the last of the ketchup bottle makes a fart noise and you don’t laugh. ~ Julian
22. You realize on the morning of that Mother’s Day is not just for your mom, but also for your wife, who is now a mom. So you run out and buy a glass swan (I might be speaking from experience here)
23. You love listening to NPR now. I mean, it’s talk radio! ~ David
24. You still giggle when someone says balls (maybe just a groan up guy thing)
25. You go back to your home town and talk about all the “developments” that have happened since you’ve been gone ~ Lindsay
26. You thought Mary-Kate and Ashley were adorable. And now they kinda scare you. ~ Katie
27. When you never run out of underwear because you actually stay on top of laundry ~ Ashley
28. When you’re losing hair and gaining babies.
29. Every evening at 7:30pm you scurry to turn on Jeopardy ~ Rachael
30. You grieve all the day when you spill coffee on something that is “dry clean only.”
31. When your first reaction to finding out a friend is pregnant is “congratulations!!” instead of “holy &^%$, what happened!!” ~ Kate
32. You start taking over the counter pain relievers after a really active day of play/moving/living because you actually need them. ~ Lindsay
31. You feel like a kid most of the time, until you see a real kid and think, “good Lord, kids are really young these days.” ~ Mike
32. You chug two-day old coffee because you’re running late and you know if coffee doesn’t enter, you’re not leaving. (Note to Kid-Self for when time machines become available at Best Buy: Never fight the nap).
33. You realize that the cliques in high school are alive & well in the real world too … ~ Jocelyn
34. You need a vacation to recover from your vacation.
35. You have a 12 year old say to you, “My youth pastor was talking about Vanilla Ice and my friends and I thought he was talking about an ice cream flavor,” and you aren’t sure whether to laugh or cry because she was completely serious. ~ Lindsay
36. You get zits on your jawline and think, “Really? Still?” ~ Katie
37. You think girls today are a bit hoochy but then you see pictures of you with shirts that exposed your belly button ~ Katie
38. You know that Jerry Maguire was not Lizzy Mcguire’s dad. ~ Katie
39. You’ve made a prank call on a pay phone. ~ Katie
40. You’ve used a pay phone period. And you’ve said your name is, “Mom, come get me.” ~ Katie
41. You stop feeling entitled to winter breaks, spring breaks, and summers off. ~ Lindsay
42. The only reason you maintain your weight is so you never have to buy new dress pants
43. When the manager at Chipotle comes outside to the patio, tells the high school kids to stop throwing forks at cars and lighting things on fire, and then turns and apologizes to YOU. ~ Mike
44. You start saying, “this generation’s music really sucks” ~ Will
45. You think you’re not that old and then you realize that the kids who just graduated high school this year were born in 1993. ~ Lindsay
46. You still can’t believe your parents turned your old bedroom into an office. Did your time with them mean nothing? Shouldn’t your bedroom remain a permanent shrine?
47. When going to bed early on Sunday night to prepare for the week becomes a priority. ~ Ryan
48. You begin repeating phrases your parent’s always used to say, that you swore you never would. And then deny it.
49. You utilize your Flex Spending Account, because you know what that is now. ~ Kendra
50. When your wife complains that you drive like her grandfather just to get better gas mileage. ~ Brandon
51. When you complain in agony, “when I got my license, it only costs $20 to fill up my car!” ~ Stephanie
52. Having lower lumbar support has become a major concern.
53. “Do you have any kids” has somehow become a normal question people ask you. ~ Mike
54. You now understand what your parents meant when they said, ‘You’ll understand when you get older.’
55. When you wrinkle your brow and make comments about “kids these days” ~ Kendra
56. You rake piles of leaves and are about to jump in, but stop because ‘what would the neighbors think’
57. When you overhear 16 year olds talking about “that lady” and realize it’s you ~ Sarah
58. Your birthday slowly transitions from best day of the year to worst.
59. You really want to go sledding again. Until you actually go sledding again. Then you don’t ever want to go sledding again.
60. You still debate, “Who was hotter – Kelly Kapowski or Topanga Lawrence?”
61. When you would rather listen to the classical radio station because the alternative radio station “feels” to loud ~ My Brother Chad
62. You’ve caught yourself saying more than once, “I’m getting too old for this.“
What part of being Groan Up did we leave out? Let us know via comments below.
The transition into adulthood is one of the most complex and significant shifts of any generation.
That’s academician speak for: “This adult shoot ain’t easy“. Thus why the theory of Emerging Adulthood is so important and became much of the research behind THE All Groan Up that you are currently eye-frolicking on.
The theory of Emerging Adulthood is like a group of scholars rummaged through you and I’s Millennial, GenY trash one night and then presented back to us our own mail in a way that made more sense then when we read it ourselves.
So what is Emerging Adulthood?
Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Ph.D is the leading scholar behind Emerging Adulthood, which in a nutshell suggests that the majority of twentysomethings in Westernized cultures go through a specific sort of ambiguous waiting period between the transition from adolescence to adult. The typical “adult” markers of leaving home, getting married, and having children, are no longer the indicators that you have boarded the Adult Train.
Instead, when Arnett surveyed twentysomethings the top three characteristics of becoming an adult as selected by twentysomethings were: accepting personal responsibility, making decisions apart from other influences, and financial independence from parents.
With so many twentysomethings moving back in with their parents, delaying marriage, switching jobs, moving, etc, the transition into adulthood has become delayed and subjective, no longer the black-and-white-leave-home-start-a-family-work-one-career, as it was in the past.
Some Facts of Emerging Adulthood
The questions, confusion, and exploration of career is a huge factor in emerging adulthood and feelings of crisis in your twenties (Arnett, 2000). With this pressure to find the right career and rapid layoffs for emerging adults with little work experience,
American emerging adults find themselves “switching jobs nearly every year for a decade” (Arnett, 2008)
As well, emerging adults find themselves not exactly fitting within today’s working climate. In today’s economic crisis world wide there is little need for emerging adults to enter into the workforce as Baby Boomers hold off from retirement as they watch their 401k’s plummet and they redefine what retirement should look like. Therefore, emerging adult’s bachelor’s degree does not go far and they feel the pressure to return for further schooling and training, thus delaying a sense of stability (Arnett, 2007).
Lost and Found Identity
One of the main struggles of emerging adulthood pinpointed by research is the feeling of lost identity and self-definition amongst emerging adults. Atwood and Scholtz in Contemporary Family Therapy explain that growing up emerging adults received their self-worth through external success and accolades, so when those are removed so is their sense of worth.
Historically identity was defined in adolescence. Today identity is possibly being formed in emerging adulthood (Arnett, 2008). Emerging adults are on an intense search for personal authenticity, awareness, and personal definition. Robbins and Wilner in their book Quarterlife Crisis state that twenties are ripe with self-doubt and intense with introspection in which a college education did not necessary prepare twentysomethings for.
Leave Me Alone
Emerging Adults spend more time alone than any persons except the elderly (Arnett, 2000). In the most technologically connected generation in the history of the world, it intrigues me to no end that we are spending less physical time with real, live, human beings.
To Faith or Not to Faith
A revaluation of faith and beliefs is a central part of emerging adulthood (Shuster and Mongetta, 2009). Yet during this period, emerging adults are less likely to be involved in religious institutions and disengage from the faith of their childhood and family background (Barry and Nelson, 2008; Arnett and Jensen, 2002).
Why Emerging Adulthood Matters
As I digested Emerging Adulthood nothing tasted so sweet and fulfilling – like eating an entire cheesecake without any of the guilt or gas. Because we’ve been told our whole lives to just keep climbing those stairs. Emerging Adulthood is what happens when we actually get off the stairs and start exploring — all the dead ends and wrong turns included.
So if becoming a real live adult has not been as straightforward as you thought it would, well you my emerging adult friend, are not alone.
Please share your experience with Emerging Adulthood via the comments below
References (Ain’t I fancy)
Arnett, J.J. (1998). Learning to stand alone: The contemporary American transition to adulthood in cultural and historical context. Human Development, 41, 295–315.
Arnett, J.J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55, 469–480.
Arnett, J.J. (2002). A Congregation of one: Individualized religious beliefs among emerging adults. Journal of Adolescent Research, 17(5), 451-467
Arnett, J. J. (2006). Emerging adulthood: Understanding the new way of coming of age. In J. J. Arnett & J. L. Tanner (Eds.), Emerging adults in America: Coming of age in the 21st century. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press.
Atwood, J.D. and Scholtz, C. The Quarter-life Time Period: An Age of Indulgence, Crisis or Both?. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, 30(4), 233-250.
Barry, C and Nelson, L (2008). The role of religious beliefs and practices on emerging adults’ perceived competencies, perceived importance ratings, and global self-worth . International Journal of Behavioral Development, 32(6), 509-521.
Robbins and Wilner, (2001). The Quarterlife Crisis. New York: Putnam.
Shuster, M and Mongetta, J (2009). The influence of a small Christian university’s culture on selected characteristics of emerging adulthood. Journal of Research on Christian Education, 18, 206–234.
Do you hear the trumpets? And the bells? How ’bout the choir boys and their wicked cool building crescendo?
No? You don’t? Well turn up the hearing aids because we have a new Chalkboard question and it’s bringing the house down, whilst raising the roof.
You say, “Impossible!“
I say, “Nay. Doth does sleep whilst men dream.“
Wow…sorry…apparently it’s Monday….
But there is a new Chalkboard question and if you like Awesome, you’re going to like sharing your thoughts below. The Chalkboard Question is…
GEN “Y” DO WE GIVE A CRAPPITY-CRAP?
Over the past few weeks I’ve been talking a lot about my twentysomething Geny, Millennial, Generation and what these terms mean or don’t mean. If you need some fodder before you respond to the Chalkboard Question and have been existing in a cave so you haven’t been blessed with the previous articles, check out: 31 Ways You Know You’re GenY, (srrrriously funny stuff), Why You Don’t Know GenY Like You Think you Do, (I wrote it, so of course I think it’s kick-you-the-face-fantastic), and A GenY’s Rebuttal to New York Times Article, “It’s Not About You” (my dad really liked this one! Darn Tootin! So it must be good).
Alright enough me! (Thank you Jesus). Let’s hear from you!
What Do You Like (or Dislike) Most About Our Generation?
Who is GenY? Everyone wants to know. Like Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World — GenY seems to be a walking paradox that makes for great entertainment.
However, do we really have a clue who GenY really is? Everyday a new article comes out from “experts” who have GenY-Millennials-Twentysomethings-Emerging Adults-those fortunate to be born in the 80′s when George Michaels and Boy George reigned supreme (thankfully sparring us from having to buy tight cut-off jean shorts because we were five years old), completely figured out.
Do a phone survey of 143 twentysomethings and you’ve got yourself a theory and a platform.
As I wrote about in my rebuttal to David Brooks New York Times article “It’s Not About You”, there is a growing debate regarding who GenY is and who the older generation thinks GenY should be.
We think an entire GenY generation can be summed up with a two paragraph label like a box of Wheat Thins.
Why is it that stereotyping certain topics is completely taboo, yet stereotyping entire Generations is all the rage. As if GenY, Millennials, Twentysomethings are this mass amoeba completely identifiable if you can study just one piece. And whomever gains the most exposure, and yells the loudest, holds the power to define us all. (And the power to make the most money because they have the answer)
But GenY is not alone in our yearning to point and say, this is who they are. We do it to the Boomers too. And the Greatest Generation. But is this fair?
It possibly makes the most sense with the Greatest Generation as they rallied, bonded together, and were each independently, and collectively, effected through events like the Great Depression and WWII.
But what does GenY have as our defining events? The Great Recession and 9/11? The verdict is out on whether or not the Great Recession will shape and define our collective identity. But in regards to 9/11, as I wrote in a previous article Amusing Ourselves to Death, “collectively we did not act upon the events of 9/11. No, we consumed 9/11.”
Did 9/11 do anything to actually change most our lives other than waiting in longer lines at the airport?
SO WHO IS GENY?
I wrote 31 Ways You Know You’re a GenY Twentysomething, which has become about a 100 ways now due to the amazing comments from fellow GenY-ers. Thus again showing me there is no one set list, no one-size-fits-all GenY characteristics.
Because we are not a list. We are individuals with unique talents and interests.
Some in GenY will act entitled, some won’t.
Some will have an IV of Technology hooked to their veins, some will like the feel of a good book.
Some will persevere through difficulty, some will take repeated naps.
Some will get married young, some will cast marriage off like a pair of worn tennis shoes.
Yes we can make generalizations, but let’s be careful not to treat generalizations as facts. Because honestly you don’t know – I don’t know, GenY as well as we think we do.
And honestly, I’m sick of us pretending like we do.