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Why The Economy Is Stopping Us From Growing Up

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Kendall Wood

For Generation-Y, the buoyant economic period in the United States came at the worst time possible. The roller coaster style of this economy has made it harder than ever for our generation to find success post-graduation. Generation-Y is the most educated generation to combat unemployment, but unlike those who withstood greater economic instability before us, the lack of employment opportunities is leading to our demise, rather than strengthening our generation.

While Gen-Y’ers hold high expectations for themselves, the constant disappointment and rejection from the corporate world is leading to settling for much less than their diplomas prepared them for. When the high-paying job falls through, Gen-Y’ers resort to applying to part-time jobs from past summer and holiday breaks during their college years.

A study by the Pew Research Center in February 2012 reported that 49 percent of 18 to 34 year olds have taken jobs that they didn’t want just to pay the bills, 35 percent have returned to school because of the tough economy and 24 percent moved back in with their families after living on their own. In order to survive, we’re backtracking rather than moving forward onto salary-paying jobs and independent lifestyles.

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Our parents and family members are the backbone of our lifestyles. We’re relying on the financial support of our kin to keep us from falling deeper and deeper into the abyss of unemployment. Aren’t we settling too easily, though? We seem to be so quick to throw in the towel on the job search, putting our diplomas on the back burner and pressing on to other things that might fill the void of employment.

Backpacking through Europe never looked so appealing, but depleting any funds you have left before you have the security of an annual salary seems absolutely foolish. Returning to school for another degree or to further your education might be beneficial in the long run, but racking up debt from student loans is a poor idea while you’re still financially dependent on your parents. Many of our futures are insecure and unpredictable, but we are becoming far too comfortable in this state of adolescence.

At a time when we should be going to work at big corporate companies and trying to fit in with the big dogs who knock some sense into us, we’re stuck in the ‘age of innocence.’ Too many of us are dwelling on past experiences, without absorbing new, mature ways of living. If you’re one who has found yourself in a state of ‘funemployment,’ it’s time to grow up and take some initiative. Let’s focus on less drama, less talk, less caring about the insignificant matters of life. Let’s make the transition to walking the walk, start getting real, and making moves on the job that we wanted right out of college.

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As previously stated, we are the most educated generation, yet our educations are not being put to good use. We have been trained on the most up-to-date technology, methods of branding ourselves, ways to get the job, skills needed to stay ahead of the competition, and more. We are the most knowledgeable generation on all things relevant to our growing and ever-changing society.

It’s our responsibility to get involved and make a difference. If your top choice company isn’t biting the bullet, no matter how many times you apply, try harder. Apply somewhere else. You just went through college, and the job might not come as easily as planned, but drop the lazy demeanor. Life won’t pause for you to take a break.

Let’s stop wasting our time. Your twenties are a time for growth and experience, but do not be mistaken, this time is not an excuse to drop your drive and lose track of what’s important. Even if the future is precarious, it’s up to you to make it valuable and keep climbing the ladder. Do not settle for less than you deserve. You have to start at the bottom to get to the top, but if you get too comfortable down there, you’re bound to end up there for good.

Kendall Wood

Kendall Wood

Editor

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