Reporting Jim Williams
CHICAGO (CBS) – No doubt, you’ve heard of the mid-life crisis. It affects people in their 40s and 50s.
But did you know there’s a quarter-life crisis, too? It’s hitting the youngest adults.
Don’t mock it.
CBS 2′s Jim Williams tells us experts believe the “Millennials” are facing some pretty tough challenges.
For those of us who are older it might seem laughable, so we asked a 25-year-old Chicagoan, Holly Lipschultz, if she thinks there is a quarter-life crisis.
“I thought it was silly at first,” Lipchultz said. “Until I experienced it myself.”
She worked hard in school, earning a master’s degree. But she cannot get the job she wants.
“I worked as a baby-sitter. I taught sign language to home schoolers. (I was) a security guard. I was desperate. I needed money.”
Does it ever to her? “Oh, hell yes,” Lipschultz said.
It’s apparently “getting to” a lot of Lipschultz’s fellow Millennials: young people, mainly in their 20s, paying off staggering college loans with low-paying jobs or no jobs, and wondering, like Sara Angle of New York City, if all the effort was worth it.
“You’re fighting to be at the top of your high school class and you’re fighting to be at the top of your college class, and you finally get out into the work force, and it’s never ending,” said Angle.
If you struggled through the Great Depression or dodged bullets in the jungles of Vietnam, you might ask what do these young people really have to complaint about?
You might wonder if they just feel entitled; kids who always got the trophies, even if they didn’t win, because their parents worried about their self-esteem.
Professor and author Barbara Risman insists they actually have reason to be disillusioned.
“Nothing feels safe and stable,” Risman said. “Part of it is not only that there are no jobs or few jobs for young college graduates, but there’s no belief in a long-term labor contract anymore.”
Risman, who heads the sociology department at the University of Illinois-Chicago, encourages young people — in this economy — to think hard about the fields that do have good paying jobs.
“Now because there are fewer positions, the young people who want to move forward in a straight line have to be very strategic.”
The numbers are clear: unemployment among the Millennials is nearly four points higher than the overall unemployment rate.
Holly Lipschultz, whose master’s degree is in library science, gives herself a pep talk.
“Just stopping to realize things take time. Things will eventually go my way.”