The United States Education and subsequent Employment System sucks, and let me tell you why.
The Millennials are said to be one of the worst generations, and yet I’m a proud member. We’re called this by former generations who see us as lazy, indignant, overprivileged, rude, and ignorant. But here’s the goddamn fucking truth.
- Most people ages 16-24 are working one or more part-time jobs while in high school and college.
- 70% of college students are forced to take out student loans in order to attend.
- The average amount owed by a college graduate is $29,400.
- Minimum wage in the US is averaged at $7.25.
- Most students can only average 25 hours a week with a part-time job, with an average of $163 per week coming from that.
In the US, there exists a cycle which is essentially a contemporary form of indentured servitude. That cycle is simple.
You need a college-level degree in order to be employed -> You need a substantial amount of student loans in order to get the college degree -> You need a considerable level of employment in order to pay off your student loans
The second you enter adulthood, you sign yourself away to paying off debt you were forced to take on so you could be considered a contributing member of society.
"But James," some may say, "there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available for college students!"
True. There’s a damn lot of scholarship opportunities out there. But here’s the catch. I am a white male from a middle-class family where I receive no support from said family in attending college. But financial aid offices and scholarship committees don’t really care about that. Because I am middle-class, I don’t qualify for scholarships. Because I am classified as a “dependent” on all financial records relating to my parents despite the fact that they don’t even contribute a penny to my college finances, I don’t qualify for genuine financial aid.
Instead, I get offered $6,500 in subsidized loans and $17,500 in unsubsidized loans. All money that I have to pay back. No free hand-outs.
We aren’t lazy, indignant, overprivileged, rude, or ignorant. At least, not all of us are. What we are is tired. And what we’re dealing with is the atrocious mess left by generations before who expect us to make it in the world just like they did, even though they changed the system so much it doesn’t function the same anymore.