By Casey Taylor
Life for the kids of the ‘90s is not all it was promised to be. The world we live in is not the one our parents came from; a world where a college education was a privilege, not expected and necessary. A world where a home ownership was not a daydream; where you could move out of your parents house… eventually. A world where you could retire at 65 years old and live comfortably through old age.
These days, those expectations are more and more far fetched. The price of education as well as the expected level of education has skyrocketed to the point where many students have debts the size of home mortgages. The price of home ownership or even apartment rent is way above the price range of a college student in many areas of Massachusetts.
With the rise in popularity of college enforced internships, there has been a rise in the number of available opportunities. On the flip side, there has been a great increase in the abuse of the intern; using the free labor for menial tasks and work that isn’t beneficial to the intern who is supposed to learning the ins and outs of a certain business. Even with internships that are run correctly, the majority of them are completely unpaid. On top of this, some internships require their interns to work full time hours, making it virtually impossible for an independent student with no other source of income to commit to this work schedule.
And once you graduate there is no guarantee that things will improve. In fact, almost half of all graduates will still be unemployed six months to a year after earning their degree. With the increasing job market competition and the economy forcing the downsizing of many businesses, a recent college grad is more likely to get a minimum wage job than one that is even remotely close to the pay scale needed for economical independence.
Something in this system needs to change or we are going to dig ourselves further into our country’s money-grave. Our country asks us to commit financial suicide in the name of bettering ourselves for the work force and then leave us on the sidelines keeping the benches warm at a Starbucks or a Target, letting all our hard earned knowledge sit like sharp gravel in our brains, grating at our psyches, waiting to be put to use. We need the support of society, not neglect. And most importantly, we need to stop expecting our lives to be like the sitcoms we watched 20 years ago and learn how to navigate in the world we were given.