Corroborating with statistics that show Millennials are living at home in their parents’ basements longer than previous generations, a new study released by researchers at Cornell University found that a startling 89% of Millennials plan on staying at the Thanksgiving kids’ table for as long as possible. “Whether the constituents of the kids’ table were a few years their junior or even a decade younger, our study found that an overwhelming majority of Millennials prefer the company of irritating brats rather than their older, judgmental, and financially-secure relatives,” the report stated.
We reached out to Josh Castaneda, a 25-year-old with a Bachelor of Arts in Plant Psychology, who’s currently employed as a Team Lead at Hollister. When Long Awkward Pause asked if Castaneda would be sitting at the kids’ table at Thanksgiving this year, he laughed. “Definitely. I’ll be sitting with my cousins. One’s 13, another one is 11, and the youngest one just turned seven.” It was clear Castaneda had no qualms about fitting in with the youngsters, but why not sit with the adults at the place setting he’s earned at the main table? “The adults are always asking so many questions, ‘When are you going to get a job using your degree? Where do you see yourself in five years? Are you ever going to move out? Why did you block me on Facebook?’ It’s awkward. I’d rather listen to my cousin Mackenzie talk about Taylor Swift than be asked serious questions about my future.” Josh Castaneda isn’t an anomaly.
Of the 89% of Millennials said to be spending Thanksgiving dinner at the kids’ table, 25% of those cited social media as a reason they’re avoiding the older adults. Morgan Nichols (21) told LAP exclusively, “I’m not sitting with the old people because they don’t know I have an Instagram, and I’d like to keep it that way. I get a lot of followers from my twerking videos, and I don’t want to give that up. Plus, it’s exhausting trying to explain the Kermit the Frog meme to my 40-year-old cousins. Instead of listening, they just remind me that I used to watch Sesame Street when I was a little.” For Corey Schroeder, he’s less worried about social media and more concerned about the dangers of dating apps. “I saw my Aunt Karen on Tinder a few weeks ago… I’m not sure how Uncle Chuck would feel about me swiping left.”
It might be cramped and the conversations about which One Direction member is the cutest may be polarizing, but it’s clear Millennials feel more comfortable around their younger family members than the elder Baby Boomers. Dr. Lois Weber, a sociologist specializing in emerging adulthood, clarified, “What it boils down to is this: on Thanksgiving Millennials want to partake in the carb-loading escapism as much as anyone, but that’s complicated by the fact that the Baby Boomers in their family want to understand what they mean when they say they’re ‘expanding their online presence’ or ‘cultivating their personal brand.’ Millennials would rather wow the younger crowd with their cootie catcher folding skills, and this is a trend we predicted several years ago.”
Curious to see how long this could last, we asked our Millennials at what age they think they’ll finally leave the kids’ table behind. Castaneda’s outlook was grim. “Probably not until I’ve paid off all my student loans… so maybe by 75?” “I think I’ll sit at the adult table at age 30,” Nichols informed us, “My life will pretty much be over by then anyway.”
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