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seth rogen
playing video games
macaroni and cheese
economic climate
The Problem With Men In Their 20s
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"Every 25 year old guy whom I meet thinks he's still in college. They range from pathetically immature to mildly in denial. It's depressing." I was sitting across the table from my good friend Chelsea as she delivered this scathing commentary. I began to reflexively generate counterarguments in my head and was preparing to challenge her dramatic conclusion when I realized that her statement sounded vaguely familiar. As I struggled to put my finger on the source of this strange deja vu, she continued: "Seriously. I met this cute guy who invited me over for dinner. He wanted to cook for me. I didn't have the heart to tell him that spaghetti and canned marinara sauce is hardly cooking. And light beer with dinner? Really? The last straw was the posters he had hanging around his apartment- girls in underwear, football players, and beer advertisements- give me a break. I left early."

Then it hit me. I had recently read not one but two articles in major newspapers about the state of modern males in their twenties. Simply put, these articles were not flattering. Apparently males my age are more likely to be living with their parents than previous generations. This could be a symptom of the economic climate and miserable job market, but the troubling part is that these guys don't seem to mind. Rather than use things like dead end jobs or living in one's childhood bedroom as motivation, apparently my generation is too busy playing video games or getting drunk to care. It's like one big Seth Rogen movie, with less clever dialogue and some serious implications for the success and happiness of our generation.

But this happy indifference may mask more complex issues and legitimate confusion secretly haunting men in their twenties. Indeed, perhaps one reason why the current crop of twenty-something men tend toward the uninspiring is that they are intimidated by the transition to adulthood. Maintaining an apartment is not the same as moving into a dorm, and making boxed macaroni and cheese is a far cry from real cooking. Replacing cheap beer with homemade cocktails is not easy, and the world of wine is imposing. Even for the more intrepid twenty-somethings, the expense of tastefully decorating an apartment or stocking a bar can be a barrier. So rather than embrace the transition from college to the life of a maturing twenty-something, a more safe response is to shy away from this new territory and retreat to our parents' recently-remodeled basements with our trusty dorm beer fridge in tow.

From this perspective, Chelsea's observation should really invoke sympathy rather than frustration. However, when I presented this line of reasoning to her, she was far less sympathetic than I expected, replying that "I would have accepted this excuse a decade ago, but now the availability of information on the internet completely demolishes it. It's easy to find lifestyle advice specifically directed toward men in their twenties, so even the most clueless guy can get some tips on the basics of developing a respectable wardrobe or cooking an impressive meal."

I remained skeptical, but after doing some research of my own, I realized that Chelsea was right. Hopefully more of my peers will follow her advice and get up to speed, otherwise they may be doomed to the same fate as Chelsea's spaghetti guy.


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