Not Quite Adults

Why 20-Somethings are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood and Why It’s Good for Everyone

Eight years of research help paint a portrait of a generation that’s making a slower, more calculated transition into adulthood — with results that benefit all. A review of this book is available.

239 pages. ©2010.
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Reader Reviews for this Book

kassieharbath

Review posted October 15, 2018

5

This book gave me a lot of clarification in the sense that I am a 25 year old female that doesn't have a lot of direction in her life and I feel like I am failing at compared to my peer group. It gave a lot of statistics on why our generation is following a different path than what used to be normal. Giving me the reassurance that it is okay that I am taking longer to get settled into my career. Marriage is really important for me too and within my culture there is a lot of pressure to get married young. I still hope to be married one day, but this book gave me a sense of ease that I still have time and I am not missing out. This book was great and I would recommend it to any millennial that may feel like they find pressure from their parents to move at a faster pace than they are ready for.

mcalvert

Review posted January 1, 2018

4

As a millennial, I found this to be a great read! The research findings outlined were encouraging. I would recommend it to others.

Malasada44

Review posted October 4, 2017

4

As someone who was 25 when this was published, I can attest to a lot of the information ringing true. However, I think even in 2010 some of their predictions had already come to pass. A new set of data should be looked at based on the years since publication. The one that stands out the most to me is about all of us with our Bachelors degrees would soon flood a tightening market. That was happening already in 2010. I graduated from the U of O in 2008, right when the recession was hitting the hardest. I was employed for a whopping 5 months before being laid off because the small business I worked for could no longer afford 3 employees. I remained unemployed for 9 months because I was competing against all the other unemployed 20 somethings and our unemployed parents for the few jobs available. Even in 2008, two years before this book came out, the phrase on just about everyone's lips was "a Bachelors degree is the equivalent of a high school degree these days." Yes, as the books says, higher education (community college, trade school, or a BA/BS) is important for anyone. But our system fails so many. Which is something they cover quite well in this. We need to show our young people that there is no shame in trade school. We as a society need people with those skills! But besides encouraging them, we need better information given in high school so that kids understand their options, especially if they're coming from families that have little to no experience dealing with any form of school beyond high school. I was lucky. I come from a lower middle class/working class (I'm from Hawaii, and the money my parents made would be lower middle class on the mainland but back home we were scraping by), and though neither of my parents had degrees while I was growing up, my mom always reinforced the notion that higher education was our ticket to a better life. She was exactly the kind of parent the book highlights as one that was trying to set my brother and I on course to be "swimmers" and not "treaders" even though we had our start in a treading family. Some other things I found to be just...hilarious, I guess is the only way to put it. The entire chapter about marriage, for instance. They touch on a few aspects that, at least among my group of friends and acquaintances, are true, but seem to then ignore those ideas. "How late is too late?" they ask about marriage. Why does a piece of paper matter so much, we ask in return. To be fair, our country does not have much in the way of support for live in partners and their children. You aren't recognized as a family unless you have that piece of paper. But maybe we need to change that. There are places in this world that legally recognize those sorts of relationships. Marriage isn't the be all end all for anyone. A lot of us also grew up watching our parents' marriages unravel, as the book does talk about. A lot of us have family that were unconventional for their generation and didn't marry their partner for a long time. I have one aunt and uncle who didn't marry for 20 years. My aunt has said she knows if she had married my uncle before the time they did, she would have divorced him. Even now she still says marrying is overrated and don't bother. So why is it so shocking so many of us feel the same as my baby boomer aunt? These aren't new notions. It's just more of us are finally saying it and doing it. I could go on and on. My copy of the book is loaded with neon sticky tabs. But let me just end with this: The book does hit a lot of true notes for me, the subject of the book. Some things don't, but then this was a broad study done in very specific locations. As I said, I'm from Hawaii, a very different place from the mainland economically, culturally, and socially. But overall, if you aren't a 20 something/early 30s "millenial" (can you tell I hate that term for my apparently gigantic generation?), this book will give you some good insight into why my peers do the things we do. But most importantly, the final chapter has some very good ideas for changes for the future. I think that this chapter is the most important of all in the book. We need, as an entire society, to make some changes for the greater good. Can we achieve that? I'm not very hopeful, but we can certainly try. And if nothing else, this book drives home the fact that my generation is trying to be more invested in making a difference for the future, even if our methods seem strange or pointless to older generations. And as I said before, I think a new set of data needs to be acquired about my generation. A lot has changed in the seven years since this book and the studies it is based on were published. I'm curious to see what parts of their predictions came true, and what maybe did not.

[email protected]

Review posted October 3, 2017

5

A fascinating read about the shifting attitudes and perceptions of the 20-something generation. It seems we have greatly misunderstood the youth who will become our future.

Oshu21707

Review posted August 8, 2017

4

Gives perspective

kavakels

Review posted December 6, 2016

4

As a 20-something myself, this book was incredibly helpful as I navigate life transitions -- and work with my students to navigate their own life changes in college and beyond. This book was very insightful and useful for my personal and professional development!

Misbooks

Review posted October 14, 2016

4

This book is helpful for parents, educators, mentors, and anyone who wants to help young people succeed. Eye-opening and validating.

maciase

Review posted May 23, 2016

4

I enjoyed the books references to a variety of populations. The sources they include appear credible and applicable to my professional life. It was not as extensive of a read as I thought it would be, which was great given my work and school load. I do wish there was more exploration of how race, culture and sexual orientation dimensions are key variables within the context of adulthood and advancement in a predominately anglo society.

swankcam

Review posted May 22, 2016

5

Not Quite Adults is a great read! This book challenges the stereotype that today's 20-somethings are a generation of entitled slackers who refuse to grow up. Rather, the authors show how the times are are changing and how these changes have radically impacted the transition to adulthood today, providing insights into why the slower path to growing up is beneficial to all. I work with high school students and this is a great eye opener as to what they will be up against.

Mistydawnviles

Review posted March 9, 2016

3

This was an okay book. Although I was hoping to learn more about maybe why the generation seemed to have such anger issues. I did know more than I thought I did about my own daughter. It seemed this book wasn't able to tell me much of what I didn't know. If you are having trouble with understanding your 20 something young adult in your life than this book may help.

tracie.stone

Review posted February 22, 2016

4

Good insights for looks at this age-group. Both for personal reflexion, and for work I am doing with that age group.

dpalter

Review posted January 27, 2016

4

I appreciate how the author explains how the generation sees the future..their expectations..outlook and gives a fresh look on how to best approach with new ideas and perspectives in problem solving between generations.

[email protected]

Review posted September 21, 2015

4

This was a helpful resource and healing, in fact, as my 20s I spent defending my every decision to my parents who were aghast that I didn't buy a house and get married upon graduation from college. The sociological frame was helpful to understand (I have also read a brain-based book about a similar topic). Bonus that the book is by an OSU professor! Thank you - this will help me as I work with young adults who volunteer time in my school.

Mr. Bizjak

Review posted September 18, 2015

3

This book was great! Working with students and considering everything I read in this book has made me a stronger teacher and teacher-leader.

cmelton

Review posted September 10, 2015

4

This book gave me insight as to how living at home longer can help you to gain more financial security and better career outlook in the future. As a young person myself, I often felt like I was failing by moving home after college. Now that I know how prevalent it is and that it can be beneficial, I no longer feel the same shame I once felt. I am excited to help my high school students understand that this is a viable option and that it is okay to stretch out your teenage years and rely on p[parental supports.

lindsayholden9411

Review posted June 30, 2015

5

This is a very interesting and helpful read as I, myself, have recently journeyed through my 20s and am now a teaching assistant at a local University working with many students in their 20s. This book is thoughtful and level headed.

morgannoll

Review posted April 6, 2015

4

As a 22 year old, I found this book very interesting. The author discusses how a slower path to "adulthood" is good for our generation, and also touches on the stigmas that our generation faces. It helped me to better understand what I should be doing in life.

pmschulte

Review posted March 29, 2015

5

I really enjoyed this book. It provided a lot of insight on young adults and the challenges that are facing them that are different than what I (as a Baby Boomer) faced. With a son in his early twenties still living at home, I found this book to be both helpful and encouraging.