As a first-year psychology student at Cal Poly who lives at home, I’ve been intrigued to discover that 51 percent of 18- to 23-year-olds in the United States are in my same situation (Gallup). While our society has constructed this “failure to launch” stereotype — where adult children don’t know how to do their own laundry, cook their own meals or hold a steady job — it fails to clearly represent the masses.
According to Jeffrey M. Jones, a “weak job market, the high cost of living, significant college debt and helping care for an elderly or disabled parent” are the main catalysts behind this growing trend. However, “being married is, by a large margin, the most important predictor,” showing that 75 percent of young adults living at home are currently single. Not only is this becoming more common, but the connotation is also shifting on both the students’ and parents’ ends.
In a survey I conducted asking, “how would you feel about continuing to live/moving back home as a young adult?” 62 percent of all responses said it would be “fine” as long as there was some financial benefit. Similarly, 68 percent of parents said they prefer their young adult lives with them.
Today, “failure to launch” is no failure at all.