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A new Barna survey of teenagers revealed that most students place a more immediate emphasis on careers, travel and faith than they do marriage.

The study asked teens what they think their lives will be like when they turn 25 years old. The most common aspirations included graduating from college (93 percent) and getting a “great paying job” (81 percent). Some 80 percent also said they expect to have a job where they can make a difference by that age.

Faith turned out to be the next highest priority for teens after college and career. Almost three-quarters of teens said they expect to have a close, personal relationship with God at the age of 25. Next on the list of priorities was travel. More than 70 percent of students said they expect to travel to other countries by the time they are young adults.

Regarding family, 58 percent of teens said they would probably be married by the time they were 25, but only 12 percent felt certain about being married. Most students did not expect to become parents by this age, either. Some 40 percent said they might be parents, and only 9 percent were sure they would be parents. Young women were twice as likely to want marriage and children by their mid-20s than men.

Church attendance was also an uncertainty for most teens. Almost two-thirds said they expect to be actively involved in a church or faith community, but only 29 percent said they were certain they would be involved. [barna.org, 5/10/10]

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