The other day, someone asked me for a personal item on my bucket list. The very first thing that came to mind was, "own a home." Yeah. For my bucket list. It's really ironic and also somewhat sad, because bucket lists are supposed to be incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experiences to have before you die and also because I happen to be a Millennial who apparently ordered one too many avocado toasts.
I've traveled. I've lived it up. I've avoided adulting in my young and mid-twenties. I've never bought a home. I want to before my time is up. I had different priorities than many people I know who are now moving into their second or third homes and having their second or third children. I saw that life is short and I wanted to experience certain things before settling down into that "normal" stuff, stuff that I thought would always be there when I was ready. I have to remind myself frequently that it's okay. I am lucky that I had those opportunities.
Have I been more irresponsible than other young people? I don't think so. I'm sure I've been less financially and career smart. (Do you know what we actually pay teachers? It's a disgrace.) I accept responsibility for my part in this. I could have made wiser choices. I was a girl driven by idealistic principles and the belief that even if your passion didn't pay well, you should still pursue it because you'd be rich "in other ways," or some shit.
Now for the "in our defense" portion of the program. My generation is less likely to own a home than any other generation before it since the Great Depression. I made that statistic up, but it's probably true. Google will show you statistics that support the fact that Millennials are deeply in debt- both debt of our own making AND because of never-ending student loan debt. It makes saving money long-term near impossible. That in combination with climbing interest rates, soaring rent prices, a less than favorable job market, and stagnant wages- well, it can feel like the cards are stacked against us. It's a problem.
I erased my initial response to the question. Instead, I wrote that I want to travel the country, eating my way through all of the "Top Chef" restaurants. That seems like a more comfortable answer for everyone.