Millennials Are Struggling More Than Ever

By Andreas Fanos on April 16, 2018

Do you have food in your stomach? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you struggling to balance everything from work to school? Are you struggling financially with no way out? Are you stressed out beyond belief? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re most likely a millennial.

It is no secret that the world has drastically changed for many, but none more than for young adults or millennials. According to Huffington Post article written by Michael Hobbes, millennials “are anyone born between 1982 and 2004.” In the same article, it rambles on about how our generation is struggling the most out of any ever before – more individuals living with parents, not owning a home, struggling financially, and not making commitments like marriage.

It is not our fault, however, because of the increasing costs of living, among other reasons. Now, we do spend unnecessary money on valuables and we are depicted as lazy, unintelligent, and seeking attention. Technology and social media have also distracted us from doing other important things in our lives as we are glued to our phones, something it seems like we can’t live without. But technology has also worked in our favor because we have so much power at our fingertips and can learn just about anything online. While some of these aspects are true for some, it is just not valid for the majority of millennials.

The article goes on to give staggering statistics to label the struggle we have to go through. According to the article, we have taken on 30% more student debt than our parents, we’re about one half as likely to own a home as young adults were in 1975, 1 out of 5 of us are living in poverty, and “based on current trends, many of us won’t be able to retire until we’re 75.”

What hasn’t helped is the fact that other companies use college graduates by having internships with no pay. Not only is this a slap in the face, but it is a needed in order to have a luxurious career and to put the experience on the resume. The big issue is that we need money to survive and feed our families. Even a little bit of payment helps.

The other issue is that millennials are educated and intelligent, however, pursuing a degree is just a stepping stone in today’s age. Instead of taking 1 step forward, student loans manage to push us 5 steps back in paying high monthly payments. And the pay for work is not nearly enough for some jobs. Student loan debt is real, and it’s not something that helps whatsoever, what it does do is add an immense amount of stress and financial instability having to work diligently just to pay back the loans and save some money up. Student loans are not helping us at all and what it does is put a constraint on us. Because of the debt alone we have to delay starting our own lives, not being able to afford an apartment or save as much money as we would like. Living with parents has become a reality and not spending money to have fun or on yourself has equally. Everything has gone up and bills are endless – car insurance, rent, healthcare, food, cell phone, TV, internet access, and money to go out from time to time. See how many I stated already excluding student loan bills.

Photo found on Pixabay

And as I stated before, the cost of living has gone up, although, pay has steadily gone down. For example, the article states that “In 2007, more than 50 percent of college graduates had a job offer lined up. For the class of 2009, fewer than 20 percent of them did. And over 10 years, the typical ’09 grad could earn up to 58,600 less than the typical ’07 grad.” There are though other jobs that have gone up. These statistics although years back are staggering. Millennials are also delaying maturation with “56% of millennials with student loans have delayed a major life event – including getting married or having kids — because of their debt.”

Many years ago, going to college was not needed, but now it is more than ever. People who do go to college end up doing better than others with just a high school degree, but the issue yet again is that a degree has become just a basic starting point and nothing more. For example, “48% of workers with bachelors degrees are employed in jobs for which they’re overqualified.” Many end up doing jobs that they didn’t have to go to college for like working at a restaurant, retail, or others. So basically, the idea of going to college is flawed and even more so if an individual has connections already or instead of paying the whopping price of an education, works in their families business or learns a trade like being an electrician, plumber, or mechanic, which is less than going to college.

The need for skills can explain why majors in science, computer science, finance, and law succeed. However, trying to become a doctor or lawyer, jobs which are terrific need many years or degrees. It is more difficult for low-income students who already owe money. Individuals have to acquire an undergraduate degree and go to a law school for three years to amass more debt and for doctoring an even more crazy amount of money and years of schooling. Despite the major, I know people struggling in various fields, not just in the arts. The market seems to be oversaturated and unfair. Getting a job today implies jumping through hoops and working hard.

Boomers were guaranteed a secure life with a good job in a not highly expensive life. Going to college back then was a lot cheaper and now there are just so many requirements. And healthcare has become a scarcity and overwhelmingly expensive. And the injustice and inequality are high at the best. Because the fact is that not everyone can be an engineer or a doctor or the market would be even more oversaturated and no jobs in other fields. People have to do what they are passionate about and what they are good at. If not, then you are going to be depressed going to your job every single day. In my opinion, having a college degree no matter what field should mean a lot and guarantee a good job. It’s always on what the individual can offer, but that is not the case anymore either.

To add more comprehension of the financial crisis for millennials an article by CNBC points out that from “a 2018 Bank Of America survey found that 1 in 6 millennials… now have 100,000 or more in savings. But the amount of individuals with no money saved has gone up from just “31% in 2016 to 46% in 2017.” And “Even older millennials between 25 and 34 – struggled to set money aside: 61 percent had less than $1,000 in their savings account and 41% had nothing at all.”

Millennials will have to understand that they will have to work low-end jobs in retail, restaurant work, or some other jobs before they can catch their ‘big break.’ I’m here to say that you aren’t alone. We as a generation can only do so much with working, staying on top of school, taking care of our families, saving up money, making a career, and all while trying to have some fun. These statistics show that millennials all over the world are struggling. Let’s buckle up for the bumpy future, the future of poverty. But also the central theme that America has left us behind.

I am an alumnus of Fairleigh Dickinson University who majored in Creative Writing and History. I am a journalist and author with a great passion for writing and reading. Just trying to make a difference in the world through doing what I love: writing.

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