From the author of Text Me When You Get Home, the acclaimed celebration of friendship, comes a timely and essential look at what it means to be a thirtysomething . . . and how it is more okay than ever to not have every box checked off.
The traditional “check list” of becoming an adult has existed for decades. Sociologists have long identified these markers of adulthood as: completing school, leaving home, establishing a career/becoming financially independent, getting married, and having children. But the signifiers of being in our thirties today are not the same—repeated economic upheaval, rising debt, decreasing marriage rates, fertility treatments, and a more open-minded society have all led to a shifting definition of adulthood.
But You’re Still So Young cleverly shows how thirtysomethings have rethought these five major life events. Schaefer describes her own journey through her thirties—including a nonlinear career path, financial struggles, romantic mistakes, and an unconventional path to parenthood—shares findings from data research, and conducts interviews nationwide. For each milestone, the book highlights men and women from various backgrounds, from around the country, and delves into their experiences navigating an ever-changing financial landscape and evolving societal expectations. The thirtysomethings in this book envisioned their thirties differently than how they are actually living them. He thought he would be done with his degree; she thought she’d be married; they thought they’d be famous comedians; and everyone thought they would have more money.
Schaefer uses her smart narrative framing and relatable voice to show how the thirties have changed from the cultural stereotypes around them, and how they are a radically different experience for Americans now than they were for any other generation. And as Schaefer and her sources show, not being able to do everything isn’t a sign of a life gone wrong. Being open to going sideways or upside down or backward means finding importance and value in many different ways of living.
Page Count: 240 pages
Published: May 2022