Independence out of reach for many young adults

By Ariana Mendoza
Pulse Staff Reporter

Young adults struggle with independence.

Adults believe that teenagers need to learn how to be responsible long before they reach maturity to be prepared for the real world. Once they reach that age, they will be ready to start a new chapter of their lives, no longer economically linked to their parents.

“Maturity is the key for independence; show more responsibility and face the (not-so-easy) real world,” said Gabriel Rico Granados, a Palo Alto College Engineering sophomore.

But what happens when you realize that everything is not as easy as your parents said it would be? The need to have freedom, your own space, new responsibilities and decision-making are just some of the factors that lead young adults to separate from their parents and live independently.

However, what is happening now is that about 33.2% of the young population in Texas prefers to stay with their parents. San Antonio is considered one of the poorest cities in the country and one of the top five cities with the most young adults still living at home. 

“Parents won’t always be there for you and help you with everything. We need to experience and learn for ourselves to get ahead of what’s going on around us,” said Denisse Lira, a Palo Alto College Biology/Pre-Nursing sophomore.

Everything is becoming more expensive, and according to the most recent report of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, an average apartment with two simple rooms would not be affordable for most Texans since you will need to earn at least $20.29 per hour to pay the rent, which is three times the minimum wage of $7.25. 

Tommie Sandoval, a Palo Alto College Psychology sophomore, has considered becoming independent, but she is always discouraged to see how expensive this can be. Sandoval works at the Mayan Theater 36 hours per week, earning $8 per hour and paying some expenses, such as her car insurance and cell phone plan.

“At the moment, I am taking five classes, which makes it impossible for me to consider the idea of ​​looking for another job, and I do not believe I can rent an apartment since most of them cost more than $600, which I consider a high price,” said Sandoval.

Between 2008 and 2018, median rents increased from $860 to $1,002 in the San Antonio area, causing citizens to spend more than 30% of their salaries on housing. And what happens when these salaries also have to pay a college debt? According to a new report from Lend Edu, approximately 56% of students graduated with debt in 2018, another factor that causes a young adult to completely forget the idea of ​​becoming independent until they can pay off that debt.

Generation Z has to decide between becoming independent and living with all the expenses or continuing to live under the same roof as their parents, where they will not be confronted by the real world.