Google “20-something challenges” and you’ll be richly rewarded with abundant returns: blogs, lists, articles, all about people who are in their 20s. Some are insulting. Some are compassionately helpful. Most are over-simplified.
Some of what you’ll find out there about 20-somethings:
They are “slouching toward adulthood at an uneven pace”
The concept of “emerging adulthood” was coined a couple of decades ago by a psychologist who proposes that there’s more to the 20-something experience than just out-of-touch elders ragging on the generations behind them. Slowly, over time, the idea has been catching on, that people don’t magically morph into “adults” at the stroke of midnight on Birthday #18 (or #21, either). (And I’ll rail against the idea of what makes a person an “adult” in a later blogpost…)
The creation and growth of a concept -- like Emerging Adulthood -- is a good example of just how little we humans have known all along about, well, humans. I like to think our knowledge is slowly catching up to reality (maybe).
People born around the same time, at any point on a historical timeline, will be impacted by the world that currently exists around them. That impact will show up in how those individuals go on to respond and react to circumstances in their life, and that includes what they think of themselves and how they function in relationships.
If it feels helpful -- for a sense of belonging, or to explain the ‘why’ of how you think/feel/do -- to claim membership in a particular age category, like “20-somethings,” then do it.
Yes, people who are currently going through life as a 20-something might have a few things in common. But they probably have more individual differences than similarities.