I totally agree with your last statement. I worked full time from 18, married at 19, we bought our first home at age 20 and I had my first child at 21. Thought nothing of it, and many others did the same. Had 2 more children in my 20's and moved to a larger home at age 24.
Well done to you for that.
I will defend the younger generation and myself though.
I was at college and graduated at 20. I was working in a factory at 21 and paid the rent for the flat. I would often represented the workforce to the management (whom I got on well with), which in hindsight was rather precocious. But was not going to be in a position to buy a house for the foreseeable future.
I spent my twenties hearing that if my generation settled for a more modest car, modest place to live, went out for fewer meals per week, stopped the weekend getaways and went for more modest annual holidays, we would buy a house and be less immature. I personally avoided debt as much as possible, but did not have a car, did not eat out, did not have weekend getaways nor had annual holidays, but when most of my net salary was spent on rent on a room in a flat (this was with a responsible job that used my PhD), this was just not possible.
I was thirty when I got a job that meant I could start to save substantially, and at that point long term relationships were suddenly available.
Men that are fortunate enough to get decent jobs early on will often get married earlier. If I could bring my level of maturity to my 18 year old self, it would still take about twelve years to be wealthy enough to be "mature". No amount of maturity would have bought me a larger house at 24.