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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Campus

Coronavirus created spike in young adults living with parents, study finds


As of July 2020, a higher number of young adults are living with their parents than those doing so at the Great Depression’s peak, a new study finds. | Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

At least 26.6 million young adults in the United States live with their parents, a number that grew as coronavirus cases began to rise earlier this year, according to a new study conducted by the Pew Research Center.

Of adults aged 18 to 29 years old in the United States, 52 percent live with their parents as of July. The figure represents a five percent increase from the numbers recorded in February.

Those aged 18 to 24, the group most likely to lose their job or take a pay cut, account for 71 percent of the July total. 

Recorded growth is sharpest in the South, with the number of young adults living with their parents rising by more than a million. 

At the University, many students moved out of their dormitories as a response to the pandemic, leaving them with no choice but to go back home.

“What’s the point of living over there away from family during a pandemic, when I can be home and classes are online anyway?” said broadcast journalism senior Daniela Machado.

Machado’s parents thought their daughter moving out of the living space she shared with three other students was the best decision. Initially convinced that she would return to campus, Machado opted to finish school from home as the pandemic worsened. 

Managing online classes and her anxiety while living at home has been a readjustment for Machado, but the sense that she’s missing out on her college experience has been the most upsetting aspect of the transition to remote learning.  

“This is my last year and I won’t be able to spend it with my friends on campus. Being in that atmosphere at UH brought me a lot of motivation and happiness, that was like the best two years of my life,” Machado said.   

Students who chose to live on campus for the fall semester have had their experiences shaped by the coronavirus pandemic, with everything from move-in to student interaction revised to implement health and safety precautions.

“I thought (move-in) would be a big welcoming (day) with a bunch of friends and family tagging along,” said chemistry freshman Kimberlynn Mai. 

Mai imagined having all of her family come with her from Mississippi to assist in the moving process, but she was only allowed to bring two people with her on move-in day. She had to move her belongings as much as she could during the first day. 

Because the dormitories are not operating at full capacity, Mai lives with one suitemate. Social distancing and mask wearing is also required in the building’s halls. 

Mai originally decided to move to campus as a way to familiarize herself with the University’s atmosphere, but the coronavirus has changed everything. 

“You don’t get the same atmosphere because everyone has to be six feet apart and socially distant. You can’t just bring a bunch of your friends to your dormitory, or you cannot sit out and eat at a specific place; it’s very different now, you have to be more cautious,” Mai said. 

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

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