Against a backdrop of drastic changes in economy and population structure, younger Americans are drawing a new 21st-century road map to success, a latest poll has found.
Across generational lines, Americans continue to prize many of the same traditional milestones of a successful life, including getting married, having children, owning a home, and retiring in their sixties. But while young and old mostly agree on what constitutes the finish line of a fulfilling life, they offer strikingly different paths for reaching it.
Young people who are still getting started in life were more likely than older adults to prioritize personal fulfillment in their work, to believe they will advance their careers most by regularly changing jobs, to favor communities with more public services and a faster pace of life, to agree that couples should be financially secure before getting married or having children, and to maintain that children are best served by two parents working outside the home, the survey found.
From career to community and family, these contrasts suggest that in the aftermath of the searing Great Recession, those just starting out in life are defining priorities and expectations that will increasingly spread through virtually all aspects of American life, from consumer preferences to housing patterns to politics.
Young and old converge on one key point: Overwhelming majorities of both groups said they believe it is harder for young people today to get started in life than it was for earlier generations. While younger people are somewhat more optimistic than their elders about the prospects for those starting out today, big majorities in both groups believe those “just getting started in life” face a tougher a good-paying job, starting a family, managing debt, and finding affordable housing.
Pete Schneider considers the climb tougher today. Schneider, a 27-yaear-old auto technician from the Chicago suburbs says he struggled to find a job after graduating from college. Even now that he is working steadily, he said.” I can’t afford to pay ma monthly mortgage payments on my own, so I have to rent rooms out to people to mark that happen.” Looking back, he is struck that his parents could provide a comfortable life for their children even though neither had completed college when he was young. “I still grew up in an upper middle-class home with parents who didn’t have college degrees,” Schneider said. “I don’t think people are capable of that anymore.”
36. One cross-generation mark of a successful life is_____.
[A] trying out different lifestyles
[B] having a family with children
[C] working beyond retirement age
[D] setting up a profitable business
37. It can be learned from Paragraph 3 that young people tend to ____.
[A] favor a slower life pace
[B] hold an occupation longer
[C] attach importance to pre-marital finance
[D] give priority to childcare outside the home
38. The priorities and expectations defined by the young will ____.
[A] become increasingly clear
[B] focus on materialistic issues
[C] depend largely on political preferences
[D] reach almost all aspects of American life
39. Both young and old agree that ____.
[A] good-paying jobs are less available
[B] the old made more life achievements
[C] housing loans today are easy to obtain
[D] getting established is harder for the young
40. Which of the following is true about Schneider？
[A] He found a dream job after graduating from college.
[B] His parents believe working steadily is a must for success.
[C] His parents’ good life has little to do with a college degree.
[D] He thinks his job as a technician quite challenging.
36 答案 B having a family with children
解析：此题是细节题。根据关键词定位到第二段第一句Across generational lines,…including getting married, having children…即成功的标志包括结婚生子，故而正确选项是B having a family with children.
37 答案 C attach importance to pre-marital finance
解析：此题是细节题。根据关键词定位到第三段第一句Young people…to agree that couples should be financially secure before getting married or having children…即年轻人认为夫妻在结婚前或者生小孩前应该在经济上是稳定的，故而C attach importance to pre-marital finance为正确答案。
38 答案 D reach almost all aspects of American life
解析：此题是细节题。根据关键词定位到第四段第一句…those just starting…will increasingly spread through virtually all aspects …即这些期待即将渗透到美国生活的各个方面，故而D reach almost all aspects of American life为正确答案。
39 答案 D getting established is harder for the young
解析：此题是文中人物观点题。根据关键词定位到第五段第一句…it is harder for young people today to get started in life than it was for earlier generations. 即与年长者相比，现如今的年轻人维持生计更加困难，故而D getting established is harder for the young为正确答案。
40 答案 C His parents’ good life has little to do with a college degree.
解析：此题是正误判断题。根据关键词定位到第六段第五句Looking back…his parents could provide a comfortable life for the children even though neither had completed college when he was young.即父母即便没有上过大学但仍旧可以为孩子提供舒适的生活，故而His parents’ good life has little to do with a college degree.为正确答案。
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