Being in your twenties is often confusing and lonely, as two independent studies published this year found. When young adults get their first jobs and move into their own apartments, they’re going it alone, usually for the first time. Moreover, as they attempt to establish their status as adults, their environment sends them mixed messages: regardless of their professional or personal achievements, they are still considered by others to be “kids,” especially before they marry and have children.
This prolonged interim state results in a lot of pain, and some studies suggest today’s young people are suffering more than previous generations did. For instance, the average age for the onset of depression has dropped from late forties or early fifties, where it was 30 years ago, to mid twenties, and it’s expected to drop further. Psychologists aren’t entirely sure why; it’s likely due to a mix of factors.