Turtle Soup: TIME Magazine can fuck right the fuck off.
I was unemployed right out of college not because I’m lazy, but because THERE ARE NO JOBS. And while I was unemployed, did I sit around on my ass playing vidya games and drinking beer payed for by my parents’ generations tax dollars? NO. I donated plasma twice a week. I applied to about two jobs a day. I introduced myself to potential employers. I BUSTED MY ASS for six months to find even a part-time job that pays minimum wage. My current employers are literally the ONLY company in my county that are actively hiring.
I’m still on my parents’ health insurance because MY EMPLOYERS DELIBERATELY GIVE ME JUST FEW ENOUGH HOURS that they don’t have to give me health insurance. There are no full-time job opportunities in my town. NONE. My roommate works full-time, but that’s because her employers before she moved were gracious enough to keep her, and she works remotely. There have been times where she went weeks, almost months without being payed. Wanna know the best part? WE’RE SOME OF THE LUCKY ONES.
The only reason I’m not still living with my parents is because they helped me move out and agreed to co-sign the lease on my apartment. And no, my roommate and I don’t own property. How are we supposed to afford that? We already squeeze every penny. Yes, my sister plans on living at home for a year or two after she graduates from college. Know why? Here’s a hint; it’s not because she’s lazy and wants to be a kid forever. It’s because the likelihood of her finding a job with her liberal arts degree that will pay enough for her to get her own place is movingly dismal.
There are a lot more people my age in similar predicaments than most Baby Boomers are comfortable admitting.
I’m living with my parents because I have ADD and I can’t work within the current academic system that values grades, test scores and graduation rates above intelligence and actual education. In a lot of ways I’m stuck because the college degree is pretty much the gatekeeper for any decent middle-class American job. Even if I had that degree, I could very well be stuck living at home because no jobs.
Rather than sit at home and sulk, I’m educating myself. Through running OMG! that Dress! I’ve learned as much about history as any college could teach me (and many of my grad student tumblr friends acknowledge that I know as much as them), and I’ve been able to do it on my own terms, free of cost.
I’ve also written a novel. A historical novel that required meticulous research and a complex understanding of history and politics. I’ve always known that I want to have a career as a writer, so I sat my ass down and wrote a novel that I knew could be published and start a career. I’m halfway there, having completed the novel and found an agent willing to sell it.
Millenials like me have a lot to offer and show, but it’s not going to be the same status symbols of our previous generations, because those symbols are in many ways no longer attainable.
I have more knowledge than a lot of graduates but nothing to show for it because I’ve been out of education since I was 14. I am unhireable. Trying to get to the level where I could be hireable would probably take me until I’m 30 and, heck, I’m not well enough now anyway. Then again my husband has three degrees and can’t find a job.