Last year, 88% of interns said they expected to get married or establish a formal relationship in the next 10 years, stated a Goldman Sachs’ 2022 global internship survey of more than 2,470 interns, according to CNBC.
For the intern class of 2022, that number fell to 45%.
Also in 2021, 57% believed they’d have children in the next decade, a number that fell to 25% in 2022.
Christine Cruzvergara, chief education strategy officer at Handshake, said the trend could be sparked by the generation’s fear of a recession on the horizon.
“They’re not focused on those longer-term milestones, or it feels hard to think about,” she said. “Getting married, settling down, buying a house — all those take financial stability.”
Some Gen Z are trading traditional life milestone goals for ones they have more control over. Sarah Wang, a 21-year-old senior at UCLA, is focused on exploring job opportunities that give her a chance for adventure.
“I see work as an opportunity to travel and live in different places around the country,” said Wang, adding that means putting marriage, kids and pets on the backburner.
Jade Walters, a 23-year-old Howard University graduate, is also shifting her priorities. She works at a corporate job in Chicago full-time and spends her free time building her own business.
“My goals from a year or two ago are different from where I’m at now,” said Walters. “I can create all these timelines, but the timing is not up to me, so I’m just getting better at focusing on the now.”
Cassidy Case, a 20-year-old junior at Arizona State University, agreed with Walters, noting “a lot of us are still freaking out about what we’re doing in the next five years, but want to enjoy now and be more present in life.”
“I’ve seen so many things with COVID to know that tomorrow is not promised. So being able to accept where you’re going, and being on that growth journey to embrace where you are now, it’s so huge,” Case added.