News / USA

'Boomerang' Kids Return Home After College

Dreams are tested in a tough economy

This young man is a boomeranger when it comes to tossing one. Is he, himself, one as well?
This young man is a boomeranger when it comes to tossing one. Is he, himself, one as well?

Multimedia

Audio
Ted Landphair

Going away to college used to be the ultimate flight of young people from the nest. It represented freedom for them and their parents alike.

But last school year alone, instead of flying free, a whopping 85 percent of seniors about to graduate from college told researchers they were moving back home to Mom and Dad.  

They had no choice, they said. Job prospects were grim in a struggling economy.

According to one estimate, 20 million young-adult Americans who left home for all sorts of reasons have moved back. Some could not afford the high cost of rental housing on their own. Or they got into trouble with credit-card debt.

Last year's 'New Yorker' magazine cover perfectly captured the boomerang-kid phenomenon. Note the look on his parents’ faces.
Last year's 'New Yorker' magazine cover perfectly captured the boomerang-kid phenomenon. Note the look on his parents’ faces.

Others just wanted to save some money, or realized it’s a pretty good deal living rent-free, getting home-cooked meals, while they dabble in acting, play in a garage band, or contemplate what they want to do with their lives.

“Boomerang kids,” they’re called - flying far away for awhile but circling back home.

And thousands of boomerangers are knocking on grandma and grandpa's doors as well.  The New York Times discovered that in many towns, once the old folks come up with the money to move into a condominium community, younger relatives happily join them.

If you peek at the tennis courts, swimming pools, or exercise classes at America’s “active adult” luxury retirement communities, you’ll see not just gray-haired men and women but also much younger adults in the prime of their lives.  

Not that there aren’t tough choices at the gated retirement village. Should we do aerobics today, or play golf? And what did you say is on the menu for dinner?

It’s true that going home to your parents or grandparents has its drawbacks.  But how many bachelor pads have central air conditioning, a washing machine and dryer down the hall, and keys to the family car hanging by the door?

Wait, these boomerangers tell the Times, despite the amenities of condo life, there are hardships. Living with parents or grandparents can put a real damper on one’s love life.  

You May Like

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs