But You’re Still So Young: How Thirtysomethings Are Redefining Adulthood

Dutton. Mar. 2021. 240p. ISBN 9781524744830. $25. SOC SCI
Combining memoir and case study, Schaefer (Text Me when You Get Home) examines why so many millennials have delayed, or failed to attain, the hallmarks of American adulthood: completing their education, purchasing a home, marrying, achieving financial independence, and having children. Each chapter focuses on one of those goals and delves into the personal lives of millennials who have struggled with pursuing and achieving it. While the author is aware of, and discusses, her relative privilege, she makes statements that require further examination. For example, in the chapter on educational attainment, Schaefer claims that the phenomenon of young people moving straight from high school into the workforce, bypassing college, is “virtually nonexistent.” The book would benefit from a closer examination of the ways in which these assessments hinge on socioeconomic and geographic assumptions. The author is more successful when describing her own life and those of the individuals and couples in her case studies. She connects their individual challenges and circumstances to the broader narrative about the difficulties millennials face when they reach adulthood.
VERDICT This book will appeal to those who enjoy human interest stories and non-judgmental writing about the millennial generation
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