Not so long ago, college was affordable without students mortgaging their future by taking out multiple loans — finding a job in the field you went to school for didn’t seem like a leap of faith. Colleges were not these mammoth institutions run like businesses. Now, attending college is more difficult and expensive than ever before — life after isn’t so easy either.
College graduates are having a harder time than ever landing that job that will gain them independence from their parents, put them on a path to that dream career, and help them steadily pay off their student loans. Many have moved back in with their parents and have gotten to the point of applying for pretty much any job that gets them a steady paycheck that will still not allow them to move out.
While the search for them goes on, even for that just-for-the-paycheck job, there’s another group of older adults who seem to look at those recent grads who took over their parents’ basement and point fingers at them for being lazy, and not being a “go-getter.” They point fingers at the generation called “The Millennials” for the way they’re living their life — apparently it hasn’t occurred to them that events like a recession put a damper on the current generation’s ability to pursue their career aspirations as well as other things that came to previous generations so easily (like affording college).
Another thing they apparently don’t understand is that no one is more frustrated at their current situation than the Millennials themselves.
Trust me, I’m one of them. There’s this thing called pride, and it can take a beating from post college life. I graduated in May of 2013, and didn’t even find that paycheck job until late October.
During that period of unemployment, I sent out countless applications. I even had interviews where I kept going further into the process, but then I would get the call that said they were going with someone else. I even went to an employment agency, and got a couple interviews, but nothing ever panned out.
Did I receive help? Yes, my parents did help me out financially during that six month period, but it’s not one of those things you go out and celebrate about. Believe it or not the average graduate actually wants to be able to pay for things themselves, and it takes a lot of pride-swallowing from them to ask their parents for gas money.
Yes, I know there are those who spend all day in their parents’, or grandparents’, basement just lounging around, but they represent our generation about as well as the Westboro Baptist Church represents Christianity. You can go on about how it was back in your day, but that day you talk so fondly about passed a long time ago.
We’re doing the best we can. You may not agree with how we’re going about it, but you aren’t growing up in these times. We are.
The personal views expressed in this post are the writers’ own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Minnesota Connected or its sponsors.