I’ve heard a lot lately about my generation clinging financially to our parents. There are books, there are studies, there is a general groan from the sandwich generation – baby boomers caring for both their parents and their grown-up kids. What I don’t understand is how so many of my peers have failed to grasp the basics of a tight belt.
I was one of those teens who left the house at 18 – literally. The day after that birthday a decade ago, I loaded up my parents’ car with my precious few earthly belongings and we took off on an eight-hour drive to Evanston, Ill., for freshman orientation at Northwestern University.
Standing in the confines of my tiny dorm room that afternoon, shortly after meeting my roommate, my mom and I exchanged a long, quiet embrace. When we pulled apart, we both wiped away tears.
Then I turned to my dad. He gave me his signature bear hug, took me by the shoulders, and said: “You’re on your own now. We did what we could. The mistakes you make are your own; just do your best to learn from as many of them as you can.”