Leaving the nest: Young adults move forward in big numbers to test the job market

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 2 2013 7:25 p.m. MST

"I was surprised by the amount of money it takes to heat a house. Like blown away surprised," Fogal said. "It took me a few months to create the systems needed to maintain a house and pay all the bills in a timely fashion."

For 23-year-old Tuskegee University graduate Adrena Martin, moving to her own apartment meant paying her own bills, coming up with rent money, staying up on car maintenance and cooking meals.

"I'd do it all over again any day," Martin said. "Because with that comes privacy and independence and freedom and the motivation to develop as a person and work towards my goal of becoming an entrepreneur."

Martin hopes to quit her current job as a hotel waitress within the next year to carry out her dream of self-employment.

She recently started her own business — CreationZ From A Dove — which specializes in handmade jewelry and accessories. Running this on her own requires many sacrifices.

"Before my business, I would always be online shopping for my next outfit," Martin said. "Now that I have more responsibility I realize that I have to sacrifice some things."

Living on her own has allowed her to develop the ability to prioritize, take every experience as an opportunity, surround herself with positive people, act upon self motivation, be resourceful, network with others and build a strong work ethic.

"I am always working. After I get off of my job, I immediately get to work on my second job," Martin said. "If I want my business to be successful I have to put in the work it takes to get there."

God remains first and all else will fall in line, Martin said.

"The fact that I have my own set of responsibilities and financial obligations makes me work that much harder to be able to provide for myself," Martin said.

On their own?

Parents today are more involved in their students' lives than any previous generation, Marjorie Savage, author of the parenting book "You're on Your Own,"said. The communication methods available today make it so easy to be in touch with a student, she said. "It's free. It's cheap. And it's instantaneous."

Nearly 52 percent of young adults ages 18 to 29 reported having daily or almost daily contact with parents via text, phone or in person, according to a survey commissioned by Clark University in Worcester, Mass. Thirty-four percent said their parents were more involved in their life than they really wanted them to be.

Caroline Radaj, a recent journalism graduate from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis., has been anxious to move out of her parent's house for five months now. What has been holding her back? A job that provides enough support living beyond her parents' basement.

"I'd be lying if I said it's not frustrating," Radaj, 22, said. "I find myself constantly angry and upset and thinking myself as a failure when I worked so hard for four years to get a degree that would allow me to live on my own."

Radaj commuted from her parents' house to Madison. "I'm waiting for my part-time job to turn into a full-time job," Madison said in October. "I've been told this will happen in November, but like anything, I can't be so sure, so I'm always looking for more opportunities."

Radaj has recently been offered a full-time position in January. As she begins her "mad apartment hunt," Radaj anticipates that moving out will require some adjustments.

"I have to live on a super strict budget because I am making a very basic minimum entry-level salary," Radaj said. She anticipates that shopping trips and midnight movie screenings may be cut to save money.

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