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Are you afraid of growing up? Study says pretty much

Students are fucked and they know it

Our generation is pretty much at a crossroads right now, turn right: fucked. Turn left: more fucked. Many people are stuck in a limbo between adolescence and full maturity: so much so that other studies suggest we need a new term for the readymeal-consuming, overdraft-balancing void: ‘emerging adulthood’. Whether it’s crippling grant cuts and student debt tripling, or sharing an 800 quid garden shed in someone’s kitchen in zone 5, millennials have got the shit end of the stick. And now the older generations have basically single-handedly secured our passage out of the European Union, who knows what the future holds for us. Scary, right?

Well, a new cross-generational study has found that students today are more anxious about growing up and maturing than students from past generations. The study in the International Journal of Behavioural Development gathered data from hundreds of undergraduates at two U.S universities based in the north east and south east. Initially they collected testaments from male and female students aged 20 in 1982, 1992, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009 and 2012, as part of a wider study into eating disorders.

Students were asked to answer statements about “fears of maturity”, asking them to agree or disagree with sentences like “I wish that I could return to the security of childhood” and “I feel happy that I am not a child anymore”. Research concluded that those tested from this generation of students were more worried about growing up than those before them. Experts involved said adulthood was lined with negativity and poorer mental health.

The study suggested that such anxieties stem from changing global circumstances; this could be a global recession, housing market shifts, or maybe just that our futures are getting absolutely fucked with by the generations before us, who knows? Smith also suggested modern parenting styles may affect how we interpret life changes.

Findings stated that “today's emerging adults seem reluctant to take on life’s next chapter”, with an assertion that more needs to be done to remind them “maturity’s wisdom, knowledge and experience are precious, hard-won and nothing to fear”. Hmm, not sure if that’s a deal we’re willing to take if we’re honest.