Occupy Wall Street: C’mon Gen-Y, They Already Think We’re Entitled Bratty Kids

3 Feb

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…

and 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.  

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4 Responses to “Occupy Wall Street: C’mon Gen-Y, They Already Think We’re Entitled Bratty Kids”

  1. Working Wifey February 3, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    I liked your post, but I was a little turned off by your discussion of student debt and all that jazz. It seemed to me that you were trying to say that being in zero debt after school means you are smarter than others. I went to a state college that wasn’t expensive and then made the decision to go to law school. I even had a scholarship, but still needed to take out loans for living expenses because my parents were not helping me. While it is great that you were able to work a full-time job while in undergrad, a lot of people sign contracts with their schools that they WON’T do that. In fact, the maximum hours you could work in law school was 20 hours a week, and I thought the people who did that were crazy. So maybe you were blessed to have an easy enough course load (OR you spent all of your time studying and working), but I don’t think that those of us who come out of school with debt are complaining about necessarily being in debt, it is the fact that if you make over a certain amount of money you cannot write off the interest that you pay (which is enormous) and then the jobs that you get (if you get a job) are not paying what they should be paying, so then you are on a thirty year payment plan. I understand that it is annoying to hear people say that they want something from the government, but coming from an educated woman with an educated husband in a lot of debt, the government could be helping us out a little more and in turn we would be spending more money in the economy and creating more jobs.

    • Kayla Cruz February 3, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

      Working Wifey,

      Thank you so much for your comment! One of the things that we ARE entitled to is our opinion, so thank you for sharing, that’s what this is for.

      Let me just start by saying that no, I’m not trying to say that just because I graduated with zero debt means that I’m smarter than others. What I’m saying is that I’m in a much better financial situation than most.

      All I’m trying to say is that Gen-Yers these days need to be more reasonable. They need to set goals that make sense. If your passion is to become a teacher, by all means be a teacher. But if you don’t have the financial means don’t go to HARVARD to get a teaching degree. Be reasonable and go to a school that you can afford.

      So many Gen-Yers set themselves up for financial struggle at a very early age because they believe that the government will help pay off their loans or that they’ll “figure it out” or that they’ll “pay it off eventually”.

      I agree with you 100% when you say that jobs these days aren’t paying what they should be paying. But we know this. We know that the job market is bad. So let’s just try to be a bit more realistic when making big financial decisions at a young age. When I see people my age complaining that they are in debt yet they have an iPhone, go clubbing every weekend, have fixed up cars, buy new clothes every day, I kind of can’t feel bad for them. Part of becoming an adult means prioritizing and if you make an income of $0, obviously, you shouldn’t be going out every weekend and buying yourself an iPAD. Or if you want to, that’s cool, just don’t complain about how you’re broke.

      But regarding Law School, I think it’s great that that’s what you did. The fact that you had to take out student loans for that makes sense, it’s ridiculously expensive and yes, people who work during law school are nuts. So props to you because I know I wouldn’t be able to do that.

      But my point in writing this post is to emphasize my belief in the fact that we are not entitled to anything (while most generations perceive us as the generation of bratty entitled kids). I believe that we have to work for the things that we have, but in a way that makes sense. Doing meaningul work. And maybe, if employers see that we’re willing to do this, if they stop perceiving us as a whining bunch of kids, they’ll start taking us seriously.

      All the best,

      Kayla

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My Rant On “Paying Dues” « Gen Y Girl - February 5, 2012

    [...] think that things should be handed to us. If you don’t believe me, see what I have to say about Occupy Wall Street. I think that things need to be earned. But you know what? I’ve worked hard. I went to school. I [...]

  2. In Response to Stephens, on His Address to the Class of 2012 « Gen Y Girl - May 9, 2012

    [...] I can’t say that I voted for him. Because guess what? A lot of us still believe in the importance of working hard despite the the stigma that our generation has been given of being lazy and [...]

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