[credit provider=”Bart Everson on Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/editor/2490812563/”]
Interesting.According to a poll cited over on TIME’s web site, a whopping 85 per cent of new college grads will wind up living at home with mum and Dad.
That’s OK, though: this population of idle, unemployed youths with broadband access (thank mum for that one!) will buoy Facebook’s pageview traffic, view YouTube all day, and maybe sign up for a paid online dating account. So at least they are helping the economy.
Unfortunately, the economy is NOT helping them — they’ve been all but ignored, and many of them are saddled with $160,000+ in student loan debt that is a) not easy to renegotiate or “settle” out of and b) totally useless. If I were young and $160K in debt, I would want something sweet to show for it, like an Aston Martin or a beach house somewhere in South America. Instead, you have a worthless diploma. Sorry ’bout that.
So what’s the solution?
1. Acknowledge that you’ve been lied to, and throw out all of the “promises” that have been made to you. Watch Fight Club a few times — now more than a decade old, but still a nice reminder and a reboot that you don’t need IKEA furniture and a high-rise apartment to be happy.
2. If you’re smart and people savvy, not a bad idea to organise a nationwide planned default on student loan debt. You were sold something that was grotesquely overvalued, and you had almost no say in the matter. Debts not incurred through an act of free will should not be repaid, in my view. I won’t be the one to lead this charge because I’m doing well right now — true revolutions are born of desperation and anger, not quiet contentment. But if you’re outraged that you are unable to find a job and have to make minimum payments on $160K to $200K of debt, start spreading the idea among your social circle that all of you should default on your student loan payments — preferably beginning at the same time, to cause maximum damage to the shady banks that lent to you in the first place.
3. Vote accordingly as well. Both parties have shamefully thrown twentysomethings under the bus. Elect twentysomethings and thirtysomethings to office. Demand progressive legislation — job programs, assistance, legalization of marijuana (will make living with mum and Dad bearable, at least. And makes Thor 3D a far more enjoyable experience, I’ve been told.)
4. Finally, look out for yourself. That “guaranteed” six-figure job working 40 hours per week at a green, ethically operated business that stimulates you — both mentally and socially — is likely not in the cards. Doesn’t matter if you have a 4.0 GPA and undertook the most impressive internship since Tesla went to work for Edison. You probably won’t find a job that adequately challenges and rewards you. Create your own job. And it doesn’t have to be online — the Internet media business is overcrowded, and every recent college grad fantasizes about being a “working” blogger or YouTube video producer. Not sure why this is the case… Aim much higher.
Provide a service better than others in your area and you’ll begin to make money. Then, use that money to launch your pet project — an indie record label, e-book publisher, whatever your true passion is. This will keep you motivated, and also keeps the door open for a large windfall — trust me, it’s far cooler to own the company and start to see it do well or get a couple of unexpected large contracts, rather than work for someone else at near minimum wage — someone who might not even have a college degree, and certainly doesn’t understand the quiet struggle you are going through.
Disclaimer: This article is meant to provoke thought only; I am not actively encouraging financial revolt. My views alone — not necessarily the opinions or positions of my site’s advertisers, content partners, or affiliates.