Alison Novak, adjunct instructor and Ph.D. student in the Department of Culture and Communication, studies millennial engagement with the media and the media’s treatment of millennials. Ultimately, any conversation about the millennial generation includes a discussion of how late millennials leave their parents when compared to other generations. In the past, young men and women graduated school, found jobs and bought homes of their own, marrying and starting their own families at quite a young age. Because of changing social norms and the persistently poor economy, many children move back home after college and stay there—sometimes well into their 30s.
Novak is currently reading Slouching Toward Adulthood: Observations From the Not-So-Empty Nest by Sally Koslow. She spoke with DrexelNow about the book and how it approaches children who return home after college through a refreshingly humorous lens.
Why did you choose this book?
I chose this book because it fits really well into my area of interest and it was featured on the Today Show. The book is about the role of parents in the current state of their post-grad children. After college, many students are returning to live at home to save money and look for a job. The author, Sally Koslow (former editor of Lifetime and McCall’s), reflects on her children’s lives and her perspective as a parent. It’s far from an academic book and it provides a lot of anecdotal stories and personal interviews that help to describe the challenges and triumphs of the not-so-empty nest.
Has the book lived up to your expectations?
So far, it’s a really good read. I’ve been enjoying her personal stories and her interviews with other parents, psychologists, and post-graduate children. She writes with a lot of humor and sensitivity to the topic as she addresses both sides of the situation.
Is there a passage or quote that you find particularly interesting? Why?
“I’m picking ‘adultesent.’ Not to go all wonk on you, but by my definition an adultescent includes Americans aged 22 to 35 caught between adolescence and adulthood in an exploration that seems to go on forever, not unlike the Rolling Stones. Dr. Arnett speaks of the ‘thirty-year deadline.’ If only. After my research, that endpoint strikes me as overly optimistic.” (p. 18).
I like this quote because it shows both the humor and humility that Koslow writes with. Further, she points out that there might be a grey area between adolescence and adulthood that has gone previously unrecognized and ignored. Rather than judge the returning post-graduate children, she attempts to understand them and address their new role in society.