This is exactly how I feel right now:
Here’s an article that kept me tossing and turning until 3:30 this morning: Struggling for Work: Broken Dreams of a New Generation
And here are some highlights for those of you so removed from the current crisis that you don’t think you need to bother reading that article:
“Although college has never been more vital to success, degrees aren’t worth what they were a generation ago: There are 80,000 bartenders in America with B.A.’s.”
[Fun fact: I was recently rejected from a job as a bartender. Also as a food server, barista, administrative assistant [x23], groundskeeper/gardener, research assistant [x6], dog handler, babysitter, Macy’s sales associate, Gap sales associate, editor/proofreader, and bank teller.]
“While U.S. unemployment is 8.3 percent, unemployment for 20- to 24-year-olds is 13.8 percent – the highest rate for any group in America. Unemployment for 20-year-olds reached 19.4 percent in Philadelphia in 2010.
“Since 2010, just 54 percent of young adults ages 18 to 24 have been employed, the lowest level since 1948, when the government began keeping track, federal data show.
“Unlike their parents, millennials – also called Generation Y – are starting out with greater responsibility for their own health insurance and retirement. Young adults, in fact, remain the most uninsured group in the United States.”
[My physician generously refilled my birth control without making me come in for an appointment. Sounds great, until you realize that this year I have to skip my annual physical because I can't afford the $350 appointment. Hopefully I don't have cervical, ovarian, uterine, breast, or any other cancer. Of course, it doesn't really matter whether I know if I'm sick, because it's not like I'd have the insurance to treat it, anyway. My birth control, which once upon a time cost $20, is now more than $160 without insurance. So, my choice was to go without birth control or put the purchase on my credit card. On my Visa it went, because prenatal care or an abortion without insurance is a lot more than $160, and condoms may be cheaper, but two forms of birth control are more effective than one.]
“The result: Students have to borrow a lot of money. Along with their diplomas each May, two out of three graduates are handed a staggering load of student-loan debt, averaging $25,250 – the highest in U.S. history.”
[I guess I'm lucky. I sacrificed going to a 4-year university right away, so my principal debt amounts to only $22,000. On which I am supposed to begin repayment in two months, even though there is fewer than $100 in my bank account and a balance of $1,900 on my credit card.]
I will anathematize the next person who tells me I’m “not trying hard enough,” “being too picky,” or “have too high of expectations.” I god damn dare you to look me in the face and tell me that. Truly, I would just love to pick apart your life and tell you all the ways that you’re inadequate. I worked my ass off to get into the best public school in the world, for the best education possible; I put myself through Berkeley without a penny from my parents; I took a 20-unit semester, against the advice of not one, but two advisors, and graduated early to save myself $8,000 in student loans.
I had no expectation of a lush desk job with a corner office right out of school, but I think I had the right to expect a little more than this.