You’ve probably figured by now that March is the “Home and Garden” issue. But since this is a millennial column, you would be safe to assume I have neither a home nor a garden of my own.
Yes, I am one of those millennials still living at home with their parents but I know I’m not alone. More than 30 percent of millennials still live with their folks, according to a Pew Research Center study.
Does that mean we’re entitled? I don’t think so.
Does it mean we’re lazy? Absolutely not.
People constantly give millennials a hard time for not flying the nest, but it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. It’s actually a pretty sweet setup.
Living at home means I can save money to pursue my own priorities, which might be different from the ones other generations had at my age. And I shouldn’t be criticized for that. Since when has any generation lived by standards set by previous generations?
Sure they are drawbacks to living with mom and dad, like a total lack freedom, but I’m willing to be home by my midnight curfew if that means I can save money to do the things I find important, like traveling.
Traveling is my No. 1 priority in life right now, and because I live with my parents, money isn’t holding me back from seeing the world.
I’ve explored Thailand, I’ve cruised in the Bahamas and I’ve planned a trip to Bali for next summer, all within a year.
If I owned my own house at this age, I’m not sure if I would be able to afford these adventures.
Of course, it would be unfair to assume all millennials share the same priorities.
There are plenty of people around my age who are ready to buy a home and that’s great.
Eula, a nurse, just bought her first house at age 23. I couldn’t be happier for her and proud of her for taking such a big step at such a young age.
Then you have these people:
• Micaela, a teacher, who moved out of state to Hawaii at age 23 to teach her first class full of first-graders. Scary.
• Navi, a student, is almost done with his second year of law school at age 23. Intimidating.
• And Brian, the animator, who is pursuing his dream of working for Pixar at age 24. Bold.
Unlike Eula, the other three don’t own their own homes. Micaela lives in an apartment because Hawaii is only temporary. Navi also lives in an apartment because law school won’t last forever. And Brian, like me, lives at home, because he isn’t going to settle for anything less than his dream job, which he has yet to find, but I know he will.
Clearly, there is no set standard for us. But that’s the beauty of being a part of a generation that marches to the beat of its own drum. We take risks.
We don’t travel because it’s what we’re expected to do as young ‘uns. We don’t buy houses because of the standard set for us. We don’t move across the ocean because it’s comfortable and we certainly don’t pursue art because it’s stable.
We do these things because it’s what excites us. It’s where we find meaning in life. And it’s what makes us happy.
So, I will continue to enjoy my time with experiences of a lifetime, save money while I can and, one day, use that money to buy a home I can call my own – just as all the previous generations once did.
The only difference is my home might come a little bit later in life.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go. I’m late for mom’s home-cooked dinner. ￼
Elizabeth Sanchez is the multimedia engagement coordinator at TBC Media. The views expressed in this column are her own.