Okay so some kids at my college campus got arrested a couple of weeks ago at Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. Joy. So everyone’s been upset and saying that it’s not fair, and yet they continue ranting about how life sucks and how the government should be giving us free stuff meanwhile, doing weird stuff like this…
Dude, that’s a lot of money to have stuck on your face.
For some reason, this issue really upsets me. A bunch of college students are prancing around campus complaining because they’re broke or because they’re going to have so much debt when they graduate (they even tweet about it on their iPhones that they bought with their credit cards) or because they’re not going to be able to find jobs, or really, any combination of those complaints. Well kids, here’s what I have to say to you. Start making better decisions in college and you won’t be so screwed post-graduation.
The idea of getting a great education and landing a job after college debt-free is not impossible. However, people fail to recognize that as with all things, there is a trade off. Opportunity cost, for those of you more economically savvy. In high school I worked my ass off. I wasn’t the most popular girl in school but I did manage to graduate third in my class and I got offered a scholarship to my local university. The last few months of senior year consisted of everyone bragging about how they’d be going away to school at some fancy school (that won’t even pay off for another 12-13 years). For some reason, they thought that going away to school meant that they were extra smart and/or that they’d be making more money later on in life. When people asked me where I was going to school, I told them my local university. Everyone’s response was, “Why? Aren’t you smart?” My response was always, “Yes, precisely why I’m staying.”
I worked part-time since my very first semester in college. During my second year of college I applied for full-time positions and ultimately landed a full-time secretary position at a hospital. Score! I was studying Health Services Administration. I saw that as the perfect opportunity to get my foot in the door at a large health care system, securing me an employer post-graduation. I faced a lot of criticism for getting a full time job so early in life. I was 19 years old and could have spent my days sleeping until noon but I knew that it would be the best way for me to get to where I wanted to be. Graduated, employed, and debt free. Here I am two years later, 21 years old with a bachelors degree, working at one of the largest health care systems in town, completely debt free.
My favorite part has to be running into people that graduated with me from high school. They sit together and freak out about how much money they already owe in student loans and they cry when they think about how much more money they’re going to add to that as they pursue their Graduate degrees. Then they look at me and ask, “How about you? How much do you owe?” I respond with, “Oh, $0.” Then, in an effort to make themselves feel better they always continue with “That’s great. But it’s going to suck now when you get your Masters.” That’s when I look at them and put on a giant smile and say “Actually, no. My job’s going to help me pay for it!”
With the Occupy Wall Street movement, there’s so much discussion these days about the reduction of the middle class. Now more than ever we see that people fall into the upper or lower classes and less people fall in between. Re-distribution of wealth they call it. The top blank percent make blank percent of all of the nation’s money. Now let me just say that yes I believe that there are some cases of abuse. Certain CEOs and investment bankers make more money than anyone could ever need.
But when it comes to the disappearance of the middle class, could it just be that so many Americans have gotten lazy? If that’s the case, is it necessarily their fault? Or is it the fault of the policies and social programs that have been implemented in our country throughout history? People have become used to government help. They assume that when times get tough, someone will help them out of the messes that they got themselves into. They expect it. What then, is the motivating factor to not be lazy? You see? Society in general has become more and more entitled, it’s not just Gen-Y.
Basically, what I have to say to the students at these Occupy Wall Street demonstrations is very simple. Please for the love of God or pot or whatever it is that you value, stop thinking that the world owes you something. Stop thinking that everything will just be handed to you. Remember where you live. This is America. Things are earned.