Falling Back: what does time mean in the life of a Millennial?

By Lauren Maslen

On Sunday, Nov. 3, a precious gift will sneak its way into the lives of Coloradans. Fleeting and elusive, it’s a gift not easily obtained. While some often fail to notice it passing, others feel it slip away all too fast.

As the clocks fall back an hour on Sunday for daylight savings time, Coloradans will receive the gift of time.

Boulder, Colo., is known for being young and active. The average age is under 40 years old and more than 29,000 students are currently enrolled in CU-Boulder courses. In a town full of students and young professionals, time and busy schedules often become the topic of discussion.

On a day to day basis, “The ‘average’ 20-something, including but not limited to grad students at CU, cares about work/life balance…. A delicate balance of work productivity, physical health, and mental health.” said Laura Michaelson, United Government of Graduate Students (UGGS) Executive Vice President, via email.

This balance can be difficult to maintain, however. According to a spokesperson at CU-Boulder’s Career and Psychological Services, October is the “busiest month of the year.” CAPS is still compiling data and learning why the office becomes inundated with students in the fall. With midterms, impending holidays, and half a semester’s worth of work behind them, students might feel the stress of retaining that “delicate balance” start to pile up.

A spokesperson for CU-Boulder’s Office of Financial Aid said the main concern among students today is how to cover day-to-day bills, simple necessities, housing costs, and other supplies. Twenty years ago, CU’s in-state tuition was $2,256 for an undergraduate and $2,790 for a graduate student. Today, that cost is nearly quadruple at $8,760 and $9,918, respectively. Balancing money and bills into the equation can add additional stress for students.

Merlyn Holmes, communications coordinator at the Graduate School at CU-Boulder, said that along with stresses around performance and their future, time and money are the main concern of students. Additionally, she said, graduate students often “express the desire to connect with people outside of their department, but they can’t make the time,” said Holmes.

While time management and money woes travel beyond the realm of college students, daily concerns also reach past these inevitable details of modern life.

Today’s young generation, known as the Millennials, often share their daily lives with their social circles in snippets. 140 characters on Twitter or a photo on Instagram is often easier than calling a friend. What’s important to Colorado Millennials and other twenty-somethings today?

Twenty-three-year olds Kayleen Cohen and Amy Dunnewald are recent college graduates. They own Mtn. Dog Media, LLC, a marketing company the duo started with another friend in Boulder.

“There are certain things you have to get done every day,” said Dunnewald, “then there are those things you have to make time to do.” Making sure she’s hydrated is important to Dunnewald. Knowing her dog is loved and cared for is what matters to Cohen.

Although these may seem like the basic, everyday facets of life that pass by unnoticeably, these simple aspects of the day-to-day are what’s important and notable to many at the end of the day.


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