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    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2011 edited
    Today, I read this week's New York Magazine cover story.

    It centers on what it's like to grow up as a leading-edge Millennial (bogus marketing term for those in their early to late 20s) in a post-recession world. It covers a LOT of ground, and does so with some absolutely stunning prose. Naturally, I wanted to share it all with you and see what you thought about it and maybe even turn it into a forum for people to share stories about what they've seen change.

    And so we find ourselves living among the scattered ashes and spilled red wine and broken glass from a party we watched in our pajamas, peering down the stairs at the grown-ups. This is not a morning after we are prepared for, to judge by the composite sketch sociologists have drawn of us.

    I'm the demographic they're talking about here. I just turned 24. I went to a fancy expensive school and was always told to pursue my dreams and was given all the encouragement in the world by loving parents. I was GOOD at school. And yet, the world I find myself inheriting is nothing like the one that was promised.

    I understand this is something most adults go through but it feels like this time around is far more serious...

    But at my old job, there were several rounds of layoffs. The first robbed me of my cubicle mate, the last (which came after I’d left) hit veteran colleagues at the top of their games. Watching that, I decided to never count on career stability and have tried to be less defined by my work. Some of my friends have recalibrated as well. “I look at the people in positions of authority in my office and see the stress and pressure they are under,” says one. She has lowered the bar beyond which satisfaction supposedly waits. “It makes me think, Well, maybe I don’t have to be in charge. Maybe I’ll be okay with just keeping afloat rather than making a splash.”

    At any rate, I wanted to start a dialogue here. I want to hear your stories. If you're like me, part of this "Millennial" generation, I want to hear how things have changed and what's not meeting your expectations, or how you've had to adjust your life plan in order to make ends meet.

    Everyone else, same question.

    I encourage you to read the article before you start posting, but it's definitely not required. The story is just a lovely piece of writing and I think everyone would benefit from reading it.
  1.  (10289.2)
    Thanks so much for posting this's something that's been on my mind almost constantly since 2008 when I was laid off. To sum it up quickly, I went to college and got a really great job afterward and for that year and a half I thought, "OK, THIS is what all those movies are talking about, the good job and good life and blah blah blah." Then I got laid off, was out of work for 9 months, and now I have a new job that pays about half as much. It's a state government job and the government has no money so there's this constant threat of layoffs--there have even been a few over the past couple months.

    Coincidentally, I came into work today and checked my mailbox and there was an envelope...all I could see inside was a pink sheet of paper and I thought, "Oh fuck, this is it, I didn't even know they do actual pink slips anymore." But it turns out it was a carbon copy receipt from a fundraiser a few weeks ago.

    Since 2008--October 20th will be my 3 year layoff anniversary--I've felt like some sort of wounded/scared animal. I keep applying for other jobs and not getting them...most of the time I'm logical and I know it's just because there are so many people out of work, but then sometimes it gets so disheartening and I wonder what the fuck is wrong with me that no one will hire me.

    Almost everything I do is governed by my job situation and lack of stability. I need to get another car but don't want to spend the money. I want to go on vacation but don't want to spend the money. Shit, man, I want to buy a PS3 but can't even bring myself to do that. When every paycheck might be your last one you start to look at things a little differently.

    There's this general mentality that's formed in the workforce of "You have no right to complain, even if your job sucks ass, because you should be grateful just to have a job." I don't like this. Companies are overworking their employees and so many more people are working through staffing agencies now with no benefits or no clear idea of whether they'll have a job in 6 months or a year.

    I know everyone doesn't think the way I do and I wish I could be more like them. I wish I could ignore all of it and just go to work and, as the article says, try to define myself in ways other than work. I don't know how to turn it off though. Sometimes I have these crazy mood swings and emotional outbursts but there's not much I can do about them.

    I think things will continue to be difficult for us for a long time to come. Some experts say that the unemployment rate--currently at 9.1% nationally--will only go down by about half a percent by the end of next year and I wouldn't be surprised if it takes us until 2018 or later to get back to 5-6% unemployment. There's going to be a whole generation of people that have this "wounded" mentality the way I do.

    I try to see the good in the world but I get pretty angry about things sometimes. It sounds pretentious to wonder why I was laid off and not someone else but that's what it comes down to when you're talking about survival.
  2.  (10289.3)
    Yeah it's pretty crazy. I've been unemployed for over half of this past year despite having a degree and all kinds of different work experience. Currently living with my partner at my mother in laws because we're so sacked by debt that we can't afford to live on our own. And unfortunately it's not just us. My brother in law, his baby, and baby's mama lives here for economic reasons, my sister in law lives here for economic reasons, and so does my other sister and law and her three daughters. We have twelve people crammed into a small four bedroom house. Everyone with the exception of me is working full time, but that's not enough anymore. Especially if you have kids or any kind of debt.

    And I don't think we're the only ones.

    My last job I lost because of economics, even though I was doing a great job according to all of my superiors and was really making some huge positive changes for the company. But I was the most recent hire, so it sucked because I was there for two weeks, then there was a two week forced vacation where the company shut down so everyone had to take their vacations at the same time to save money--then over that time off they lost two huge business deals, so I come back, work the whole day, and then am let go at the end of the day.

    The other day I was contemplating filing for banktruptcy because I'm so tired of these debts ruining my life, and I figure at this point everyone has bad credit now.

    I feel like my whole life has been behind the financial eightball just because some foolish financial decisions I made when I was 22/23 thinking I would make at least 30K a year. But that didn't happen, so I just fell into more and more debt.

    I was reading Inio Asano's manga which ostensibly are about kids in their 20s from japan's lost generation--and a lot of it resonates. A lot of it resonates.

    Baby boomers killed our future before we were even born, ha.
  3.  (10289.4)
    I had to budget this past couple months just so my partner and I could afford to get the new Frank Miller book at 18 dollars. We've been wanting to buy the game of thrones book ever since the series ended, and despite her having a full-time job--we can't afford the extra expense usually. This past few weeks we've been getting by on ramen because we've both had doctor's appointments with 20-40 dollar co-pays(which is really good, her job has awesome insurance)...and I'm like...damn I'm 28, and it's the same shit as when I was like 12.

    It's all completeeeetely depressing and humiliating in some ways.
  4.  (10289.5)
    I don't work in a prison because I enjoy it; I have a high school diploma and no higher, and I know that I will not be able to make this kind of money anywhere else, with as good of benefits as I have. I quit the Feds briefly, and tried to make it in the private sector, and the best I could do was $12/hr (and they went out of business). For someone who pays $520/mo. child support, that ain't enough. At one (non-Fed) job, I was bringing home (after taxes & child support) $150/wk, with a rent of $350/mo. plus bills, and that was with 2 roommates.

    Now, I do alright, but every time I see the attacks on Gov. Employees, I get a little afraid. Right now I'm looking at at least another year and a half pay freeze, possibly a 5 year freeze, and they want to raise my insurance rates, increase the amount I contribute towards retirement, both of which count as pay cuts.

    There's this misconception that government workers do much better than private sector workers. Depends on which numbers you look at, honestly, but we don't do too bad (right now). My problem is that it's being looked at backwards. It's not that gov. workers are being taken care of so much better than private workers, it's that private corporations have systematically reduced pay and lowered benefits over the years, gradually taking away from their employees. Instead of wanting to bring down government workers, I believe we need to raise the standards across the board.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2011
    Much wisdom in government spy's last paragraph.

    * * *
    I've stopped reading many of the threads in another forum where I hang out. Any discussion along the lines of this one gets pegged as Class Warfare, or similar rot.
  5.  (10289.7)
    Any discussion along the lines of this one gets pegged as Class Warfare, or similar rot.

    Remind them of how the French used to do class warfare and tell them a 2% tax increase isn't that bad by comparison.
  6.  (10289.8)
    In a lot of ways, I'm lucky. I'm lucky because I got to watch my sister fuck up and get screwed over, so I ended up not doing the expected thing of going to a 4 year college and getting a bachelors. As unhappy as I am with things, at least I don't have debt to worry about. I will admit that I tend to explain things in a round about way, and it will probably be very long. Sorry.

    My mom was a valedictorian. I didn't quite figure that out until I was much older, but I was always pushed to do well in school. I was also told I was such a talented artist growing up. Constant praise on my drawing skills. I didn't discover it until I was in high school, but I have a language learning disability called Dysnomia, which literally means "poorly named". (By the way, I have a very good memory, but I will usually start with the generalities and work towards the specifics.) Anyhow, I was expected to do generally well at school, and a result of moving and experiencing different school systems, I put varying levels of effort into school. Generally, American schools were the easiest, and I found my classmates to be a bit whiny when they couldn't get the grade they wanted.

    But I always expected that I'd go to college, and that I'd get a degree in art, and I'd work in some way related to art that would be amazing and I'd create wonderful things, and be extra special, etc yadda, so very unicorn (as mentioned in the article). My mom was all about preparedness and research and a lot of the time we were overseas, or expecting to be overseas, so we started visiting colleges when I was in 8th grade. Growing up my parents (well, my mom) would encourage whatever creative projects and interests that my sister and I happened to have. Also, a lot of the time we were overseas. So we would have piano lessons and drawing lessons and jewelry making lessons and so on. Often our teachers were the "best of" whatever they did. Not always. I appreciate that my mom let my sister and I follow our fancies and get the best education she could find for us, regardless of where we lived. On the other hand, I can have a fairly intense creative ADD. Anyways, back to preparedness. She would also try to get the family to meet various artists and graphic designers and so on and interview them about what working in their field was like. And well, they didn't paint the prettiest picture. But still, most of the time, I was hopeful.

    My sister is about two years older than me, and her thing is music, and missions (as in missionaries etc), and other cultures. She went to a private Christian college, getting a degree in missions and ethnomusicology. She should have been fine. She really should have. She had connections through my parents. She was going to get part of a loan paid off by doing an internship with a church. But through a mix of idiocy (especially with handling money) and things not going the way she was told they would go, she has ended up with a mountain of debt and working entry level type jobs. Right now she does housekeeping at a retirement community.

    As for me, I was planning on going to art college, but I wasn't quite good enough to get in when it was apply, and my parents couldn't afford to support me like they did my sister, so I went to city college instead. I happened to be lucky, in that Fresno City College has a great art department and a great photography department, and so I got to take art classes that were just as good as many of the state college classes would have been. And since it took me a while to get my general education classes done while taking all those art and photography classes, I watched my sister's life go to shit. As a result, I made a personal decision that I wasn't going to go into debt for college unless there was a high likelihood of a well paying job afterwards. I actually applied for San Jose State and would have transferred too, except that California's budget went to crap, and the amount of students allowed to enroll/transfer was significantly diminished, and I didn't make the cut. And well, the economy has just gotten worse and worse. I'm not expecting to go back to college, at least not for a very long time.

    Until my current job, my experience with work has been trying to keep up and never being good enough, or just being alternately bored and stressed out. Usually the companies treated people horribly, and I had no drive to be any good aside from survival. I don't get paid all that much at my current job, nor do I get enough hours, but I adore my boss, and I get to feel like I'm doing something interesting and worthwhile, so I'll stick with it as long as I can.

    Do I feel like I was promised something I'll never get? Yeah. Am I all that upset about it? I have a hard time thinking I have any right to be upset about it. It seems tons of people were screwed over by the recession, not just my generation. If anything, it feels like it was my fault, that I wasn't good enough, and that I didn't work hard enough. And while that's partially true, after a certain point laziness has set in, but there's a lot of things that made it so I couldn't get the help I needed when I needed it, or get the opportunities to get to the point that I feel I should be at.

    I'm still living with my parents, and for the most part they don't mind. I've been trying to find an apartment to rent and my mom is being supportive of me, but at the same time, she has said that part of her doesn't want me to move out - she'll miss me for one, and the various things around the kitchen and house that will go with me. Part of me thinks it would be better for everyone if living with your parents wasn't considered such a bad thing. After all, it's quite normal in more "old world" cultures, and economically much more sensible. On the other hand, I just want to live on my own, at the very least. I've been looking forward to having my own place and decorating it and everything for so long it's kind of depressing. Maybe I won't manage the awe inspiring career, or any of those things, but can't I at least get to live on my own? It's so humiliating that I'm 26 and have yet to live outside of my parent's house.
  7.  (10289.9)
    Life started out quite promising for me upon leaving university. It took a few months of hacking away at a chief sub-editor but I eventually found work freelancing for a regional daily newspaper. Damn good money considering the work, although I always made sure to slog my bollocks off to keep myself in their good graces. You can't afford to slack off as a freelancer; I saw more than a few just disappear during my stint there. I ended up putting together the free weekly papers for them off the back of my hard work. A year later the recession came and they could no longer afford to keep me on as a freelancer (or anyone else, for that matter), and they also made several full-time subs redundant. I don't blame the recession for this completely, mind you. Print has been, for at least two decades, in an irreparable decline.

    Fortunately there was an opening for a Production Assistant job in the coming newspaper hub, and I spent time doing various unimportant things across three newspapers for a salary that, compared with my sub-editing job, equalled a £4k pay cut. That was a knock to my confidence, but at least I was employed. Then the Tories came into power. A few months later there was a second round of redundancies to coincide with the continued doom and gloom, and I was one of them. Since then, the newspaper I was initially a part of has become the one to suffer the biggest readership loss in the entire United Kingdom. The companies that own the newspapers aren't willing to put the money in to employment, so the content suffers, and once-loyal readers decide not to read what is tantamount to used toilet paper.

    To an extent I agree with the sense of entitlement. After all, I worked my arse off all the way through my education, and the generation above always praised the benefits of a good education and told me of all the prospects awaiting a young adult with a good education. Nowadays my partner (who has a first in Geography from one of the best universities in the country) and I are both unemployed after initially attaining good jobs in our relevant industries. As of now we are, as a matter of fact, worse off than the people who fucked around in school, never went to university and learned a trade instead. They have security, whereas our mortgage is currently being paid by an insurance company. The chances are that we will eventually find our way back onto our respective career ladders, but I would consider the aforementioned tradespeople to be more recession-proof. It's hard to theorise just how life would've ended up otherwise, but at this point I think that choosing a trade and never attending university may have been a better route. Only time will put that theory to the test.
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2011 edited
    Interestingly enough, I've lived through a very similar time - except this was 20 years ago, during the last depression when I was 15-16 years old. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry - it mostly affected the Nordics and especially Finland. In early 90's we got hit pretty hard, mostly because of "casino-economics" of the 80's, a banking crisis, and the Soviet Union breaking down. The latter was significant because although Finland had been totally independent for a better part of a century, Soviet Union was a really important trade partner (something like 20% of the whole foreign trade). The unemployment rate was around 12%, in some fields as high as 36%.

    The previous generation saw being unemployed or having to rely on social security as the biggest failure possible, and many from our parents' generation weren't in a very good shape mentally after getting unemployed and having to rely on "handouts". It was a pretty bleak time to spend your late teenage / young adulthood in. I, like many of my pals, graduated from (senior) high school straight to unemployment registry and to social security. The latter fulfilled its function for me - it kept me alive and away from less acceptable forms of income, although at times it quaked pretty badly because of idiocies of bureaucracy. Not really sure how wise it's to write about this online, but I did shoplift for foodstuffs now and then, especially when I hit one of those horrible bureaucratic gridlocks where I was supposed to make do with about $50 per month after rent. I did try to apply for the university, but at times I had to work on places like a hospital or such, which didn't leave that much energy for studying. There was this wonderful system where you had to take a "trainee work" where you didn't get any more money than from unemployment fee, but you had to work full time without any benefits of a worker, pay for the bus trips and lunches and whatever. You got less money working with no rights than when doing nothing at home, but if you refused, your benefits got cut. One of the worse missteps of the system, I think...

    Then again, I've got to say that although social security wasn't pleasant, it still made me happy to live in Commie Reindeerland. I had to have an appendectomy during that time, and it set me back something like $100. And as I mentioned, now that we're adult productive members of the society me and my pals have been talking about what might've been without social security and all that, how we might've turned out, how we might've made our living - not that productively. Only one of us fell completely through the cracks, and he hanged himself a few years back.
  8.  (10289.11)
    While I sympathize with the trauma of getting off to a dismal start in adult life, I encourage folks in their teens and early 20s to take heart from the potential for things to get better by the time you reach middle age, and maybe even give you time to work things out for retirement. If there's anything worse than being stuck on the dole or working minimum-wage and entry-level jobs in your early 20s, it's being in the same position when you're 10-20 years older, which is where I and many of my friends are.
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2011
    Well...I think the big thing that hit me was entering film school. We were assured at orientation that 85% of the class will get jobs in the film industry and that there were jobs aplenty. Then in around second year, the economy started getting worse and our wonderful Prime Minister declared that the arts were for jerks and cut funding in film grant services and our province followed suit by decreasing the tax benefits for foreign filmmakers. So a class of 75 students read about filmmakers leaving Toronto and the future looked pretty bleak for what we wanted to do. Our facilitators, who could have at least tried to give advice, pretty much said "no refunds, good luck with the rest of your time here". After graduation only five people of my class got a job in the film business with only two doing what they actually want to do. Any remaining television companies in the city were holding on to their seasoned veterans for dear life and closing the doors. By the time filmmakers started coming back to Toronto, we were older and had the gall to want a salary higher than an unpaid intern fresh out of film school. Also, due to not being in the industry at that time, we were unable to properly make the technology switch, as we had neither the money or way to get a hold of the technology to become familiar with it.

    Life after that is pretty much word-for-word of Trini's experience. A few jobs where I was treated horribly ending with one job that pays crap but I like the people I work with. The photography...I've done better with photography than I did with my film-related jobs.

    Also still living with the parents at 26. They don't mind, as they recognize that this is a time when recently laid off 40 year-olds are moving back in with their folks and the competition for menial retail jobs let alone well-paying office jobs is quite intense. Like Trini, it would be a bit better if living with the folks wasn't such a social black mark, but it is and regardless I want to get out there on my own and decorate my own place.

    Do I feel like I was promised better? Sure. But I can't feel too bitter about it. My choices and all that.
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2011 edited
    Actually, to elaborate on some cultural differences - up here my generation may be the first ones that are not on the average necessarily better educated than their parents. Finland got up from a mainly agrarian society to high tech service society in about three generations, so the trust in learning and studying is also pretty high in here. The 90's depression finally broke down the kind of job market where it was kind of possible to go somewhere and leave 40 years later with a gold watch, or at least not to have to change your jobs too many times and have an actual career. Enter the late 90's and the 00's, when the most typical form of employment for our generation is a couple of year stretch somewhere. All the safety nets and such are geared towards long careers, which makes life really sucky for many people - in the way of social security you actually get effectively penalized for taking short jobs or doing short gigs. Also there's a certain overabundance of highly educated people, and I can think of only 2-3 friends who work in the field they've actually studied, and I can think of three pals who've been in the same workplace for over 10 years. A friend of mine has been working in something like 44 places at the age of 36, I've been working in something like 11, and as a freelancer I had something like 10-15 different regular customers.

    So, we too were kind of implicitly promised that studying hard leads to a nice career, but instead the typical academic career is a series of short low-average paid employments on areas that have maybe a passing connection to what you actually studied. I know people whose parents urge them to study more, and just can't get it to their heads that getting your bachelors or masters probably has very little effect on your employment...
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2011
    It’s hard to fully enjoy avoiding maturity if you’re worried that it’s more like maturity is escaping you.

    This is exactly how I feel. My only income is what little I get from parental support, so whenever my boyfriend and I go out with friends, he's always covering me, or someone else is, because they feel bad I don't have much money, and they have enough income that it doesn't bother them to cover me now and again. And I tell them not to, because it makes me feel like the little kid in the group (doesn't help that my boyfriend is 8 years older, and our social circles are all his generation or older). So here I am trying to establish myself as an adult, and even though my boyfriend and out friends are only trying to help me out, which I appreciate, I end up feeling like the dependent kid who isn't mature enough to take care of herself yet, and all I want is to establish myself as an independent person.
  9.  (10289.15)
    Very interesting discussion, and I'm getting a lot out of all these comments.

    I'm an Air Traffic Control graduate who hasn't yet gotten a job. So now I'm contemplating getting a dispatcher's licsense and going to work for one of the aircarriers in the private sector. Let me back up. In high school I didn't really give a shit. I squeezed by but could have done a lot better. I used to ditch school, quite often, and would sometimes attend under the influence of drugs. For as much fun I had, I think I acted out this way out of my hatred for the entire system. I went to college because there's this notion that you HAVE to go to college these days. Like many college students, I experimented with lots of different thing, an extension of my behavior as a teenager. I didn't know what I wanted to do and did horribly becase of this. I was lost. I ended up going to jail (long story) for a bit and got kicked out. Then I realized I was actually moderately intelligent and if I applied myself I could be anything I wanted. So after a year or so of thinking about it I went back to school with what I wanted to do (ATC) and dedicated myself to it for the first time in my life. I did great. And it was not easy. If you don't put your tme in and study your ass off, you will not succeed in ATC. I made Dean's List, multiple times. I held an excellent GPA. I blew through the over the shoulder evaluations with little (and trivial) mistakes. Then I graduated. And nothing happened for me. Not only did nothing happen for me, the few students who got jobs in my class were the bottom of the barrel. And that scares me. These were people who tensed up and got flustered with mere simulations. Imagine when they have hundreds of people's lives in their hands. The worst part is that I wasn't even the best of the best. I was good, but there was a top tier of controllers in my class that were simply born for it. What of them? They didn't get jobs either.

    I'm not sure what all this means. And obviously this isn't new. But its hard to put so much effort into something and have absolutely no reward at all for it. In a way, I'm glad my career hasn't started though because it affords me time to create my art, which is of course important to me. In fact, the "theme" of my next CD -- if there is one -- is making the most out of bad situations. I haven't gotten an ATC job... but I'm using the time I have constructively to create things. So that's good.

    And I do have a little part-time job just to pay some bills.
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2011 edited
    You know how those essays where you can write about any subject are always the worst? That's how I feel.

    "Why aren't you doing better? You can write about anything you want!"
    "I don't know what to write about."
    "Write about whatever you want!"
    "I don't know what that is."

    I turn 30 in about two months and I still have little to no idea what I'm supposed to be doing, other than I'm (according to test scores and every teacher I've ever had) supposed to have cured cancer by now. I never got any of that "C'mon champ, you can do whatever you want!" but I also didn't get any direction. I've never been good at setting or achieving goals. I've never been good at finishing things I've started. I honestly don't know how successful or focused people work, because my entire life I've only been around people that did either the bare minimum necessary (a trait I've mostly picked up) or simply fell into whatever they were doing due to circumstance (not unlike my parents, who both had their lives ruined by the arrival of Your Humble Narrator).

    That's not to say that I haven't had success at things. I was a three-year state finals medalist in the Minnesota State High School League speech tournament (something about only 200 kids ever did in the history of the MSHSL). I was good in choir, though not amazing. I tied for highest ACT score of my high school class, and I got a good scholarship at a good school majoring in what I thought I wanted to major in. And then I discovered I wasn't. And then I thought for sure I had it figured out four times after that, and I still didn't. And now, 900 miles away, I'm in an entirely different program, starting over on another four-year degree at a relatively low-grade four-year school. My goals right now are to stay in school until I die so my student loans get discharged and my survivors are stuck with only my credit card debt, which is about .5% of my total debt load. (I'm not kidding.)

    And the thing is, it's not like I don't know how to work hard. I'll usually finish things by their deadline. I worked incredibly hard physical labor for roughly 15 years, starting when I was 12. But the things that I'm good at and the things I enjoy have rarely lined up, and when they do, it's usually in a field that it is impossible to get into without already being incredibly well-connected or simply not wherever I am. (First Fargo, now Fort Wayne.) I've thought at different times I was going to be a rock star, a writer, a rock star writer, an actor, a record producer, a career soda merchandiser, an architect, now an interior designer. There's probably a few things in there I'm forgetting. I'd probably be happy doing anything, really, so long as I liked my coworkers and was making a decent wage and not doing something like slaughtering chickens or summat.

    Instead, I sit at home and watch my Twitter and Facebook and Reader and play WoW and occasionally do school work. I feel incredibly useless, even though I'm pretty sure I'm not.

    And I only get more depressed because I get really annoyed about all the navel-gazing I do, and how emo the whole thing is, but I honestly don't know what to do. I mean, it sounds really cliche, but the only line that really stuck with me from Nirvana (I'm sure there are more, but I got into them long after Cobain's suicide and all their in-context hype) was "Here we are now entertain us." If I'm recalling correctly, Kurt had said the line is more about expectation than entertainment--something more like "Alright, we're here, now what?" It's not even that I feel entitled to a future or a fat nest egg or even a career at the end of the day, but I have a lot of days were I just go "What the fuck now?" Even when I'm sitting in class.

    This is, I think, not the commonly held opinion by either "generation" that I'm a part of. Most of my growing up was

    "We expect you to be something when you grow up!"
    "Like, uh, what?"
    "Uh...... something."

    Which wasn't terribly helpful. It probably started when my dad pushed me into getting a job so I could get a car so I could get to my job. The circular logic of that seemed insane to me, but perfectly logical to him, and I just went with it because honestly, what else was I going to do?

    And now look at me. I should be lying on a couch and paying someone to listen to this drivel, then tell me it's my parents' fault when I already know that GEEZ.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2011
    I was born in 1961.

    As the story goes, when I was a week or so old my parents showed me around my grandparents' restaurant in Greenwich Village. (It's mentioned in Howl. "Stale beer evenings . . .")

    One of the beatnik regulars suggested I be raised as a death ray repairman.

    I've never lived up to that suggestion, but you take what you can get.
  10.  (10289.18)
    This is a very interesting discussion although its hard not to get angry and then not really know what I'm angry about. I could say its at the world but that's a bit of a generalisation, isn't it? I always thought my life would turn out differently than it has. I always thought I'd be having these thoughts when I was 60, not 22.

    That's the depressing reality of growing up in the aftermath of a recession, waiting for another one to hit and the Tory government to screw over all the nice hard-working people in favour of their Eton friends. I've lost the faith I once had that I could do whatever I wanted and somehow everything would be OK.

    I went to university and studied English with Film and Media. I graduated last year and I'm still working in the job I used to have at the weekends, only in a different city with hardly any friends, or any money to do anything. I could wish my life away on all the things I should have done; I should have worked harder, joined more clubs, but I might as well wish to change everything I am because none of that would have made a difference. It's not just me in this boat, although sometimes it feels like it.

    I don't like my job. It doesn't offer me a challenge and won't help me get to where I want to be (some vague picture in my head of a job in the creative industries) but if I don't keep it who knows when I'll next make money? Job figures for Scotland lie at 4,277 jobs advertised on S1jobs. There are over 5 million people living here and I can't drive. Even if I had the money to learn to drive, there's no way I could afford to run a car. It's like being trapped in a maze with no map. And there's no sign of it getting better.

    At least I no longer get the 'why haven't you got a good job yet?' from my mother.
  11.  (10289.19)
    whenever my boyfriend and I go out with friends, he's always covering me,
    If it helps, I'm on the other side of this with my sorta-boyfriend, and I hate it too. I really don't mind the expense of paying for his drinks or whatever, but I know it bothers him, so I keep it on the DL.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2011
    Yeah, I know it doesn't bother him to cover me, I just can't help feeling like I'm mooching of him or something every now and then, and really the last thing I want to be is the parasitic unemployed girlfriend, you know? :/ But I try and I'll cover him when we go out if I can afford to.