07.18.12

Millennials Report From the Trenches: High Loans, Low Pay, Few Jobs

This week’s Newsweek asks whether Millennials are the ‘screwed generation’. Here’s what they told us about just how bad things truly are—via Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

When this week’s Newsweek asked whether Millennials are the screwed generation, we turned to our Gen-Y readers to ask how bad things are for them.

Here are their responses, compiled from Twitter (see the tweets at hashtag #GenerationScrewed), Facebook (see the submissions in their entirety—and share yours), and Tumblr, organized into three categories: stories about life in the screwed lane, the unsympathetic stop-whinings, and tweets, posts, and messages of defiance.

THIS IS OUR LIFE: Endless internships, a mountain of student loan debt, and jobs in fast food—these are the stories from “Generation Screwed.”

29yrs old currently in law school and close to 200k in student loan debt..... with a terrible job market for lawyers.. I should be CEO for Generation Screwed :(
Sam Abbasy

Shy of 18 by couple of weeks, but feeling particularly doubtful and psychologically cynical of any and every institution, and given the state of higher education and the workforce (on college apps study now), hell if I know where I’m heading for, nobody knows. Then again, it’s the same struggle for anyone: nobody truly knows where we are going. Not that I’m nihilist but there is mystery in it all
Alphonso Gaston Lopez

I am a recent graduate with no job and 13 thousand dollars in debt. I want to work to improve the status of all people in this world but can’t get a job or internship in a non-profit. My father was deported. My mother works her butt off cleaning house in Florida even though she is college educated back in our home country. I want better for my little sister.
Francis

College educated 32 year old female. $35,000 in school debt, not a job prospect in sight. Will flip burgers for pay. Help me! Husband has his M.S. in Geotechnical Engineering(Graduated with honors), $30,000 in school debt and works as a janitor.
Elisha Lansdale

I’m 25. I’m a full-time print journalist. I’m  lucky to be employed. I’m overqualified to be where I am. I’m confused about where I can go next. I’m confused about where I should go next. I feel sorry for myself about 10 percent of the time, but suck it up because I live in America.
rowdiness

Things are so difficult right now
Stanley Camara

24 years old with a BA in Public Relations and a BS in Marketing, minor in Graphic Design, four internships, $28,000 in debt, have had at least 3 interviews a week for the last 3 years—nothing. Working in a call center in customer service for peanuts... as a temp.
Amber Dahl

35, three Master’s degrees and a BA, close to $200K in student loan debt. I’ve started two new businesses in the last 3 years, almost entirely on gumption, by not buying new underwear, and with an incredible amount of financial support from my mom, since it’s unlikely I’d be able to get a bank loan. This could get tricky this next year, as we’re still getting established and I’ve hit the upper lending limit at the Bank of Mom. I’m very smart, very driven, and do nothing but work, but my whole financial life could fall apart very quickly, and I haven’t paid back a cent of my student loans yet.
Jennifer M Nery

How about 52, just an associates degree, but over 20 years experience, lost my job after 9 years. NO ONE wants to pay me what my experience is worth. It’s cheaper to pay someone right out of college —$25,000 vs. $45,000...
Colleen Bradley Marone

NO SYMPATHY: Go to a public university! Quit bitching! Move on and stop the whining! These are the messages we received meant for the screwed generation.

Happy to be still technically in the “youth”  bracket. BA, paid off my truck and bike, own a house. Quit bitching, start working. It is out there. I’m not impressed with stories of how my peers can’t hack it on their own.
Gabriel Christianson

No Newsweek, people and institutions like you are screwed! I’m 31, live in a third world country, married and making money ... I guess you should be more creative in your writing instead of promoting these pitiful exercises.
Edgard Molina

Everyone has it hard.. it sucked in 1981 and 1991 and 2001 for a variety of reasons. Lets move on and stop the whining..
Thomas Gordon

DEFIANCE: We got this! In the face of it all, these readers are standing chin up, thumbing their nose at their generation’s predicament. We, like others before us, will get through this.

I am studying medicine, and in a third world country. But I also work online freelance jobs and the money goes to my living expenses and part of my tuition fee. Times are tough but no one got any where without going the extra mile.
Umar Anwar Jahangir

I’m 32 and have had some professional setbacks, but I find that there is an incredible amount of opportunity in the current economy for scrappy crafty people, and this generation is both of those things. I will NEVER identify with “Generation Screwed.” That doesn’t resonate at all.
Marguerite Giguere

Really, I am getting nothing in return because today a college degree is virtually worthless in the job market. However, I am optimistic, I feel like there are things that made past generations successful that are beyond simple luck and timing. Save your money, think ahead, and don’t be afraid to try anything for yourself.
buffalo-skinners

for once I’d like to see an advice column, opinion piece, or tweet about how Millennials are an innovative and creative group of people that are going to find the secret to happiness or at least redefine what it means to be successful. Because if the boomers throw us a bone—maybe in the form of student-loan forgiveness or an expansion of AmeriCorps—that’s just what we’d do.
caritademoscamuerta

Am 30 and happy!!! Did my nursing now doing Journalism.... Supporting myself. Can’t say bad about my life... It’s tough but at the of the day by God grace I make it.....
Sheil Poorun

The best “prospect” we have is within. I am 34 and have worked hard for the last 10 years have saved 10s of thousands because of that hard work. I have ZERO debt because I chose that route. Too many in my age group claim victim to circumstance but frequently you have to make your own circumstances. This is why I didn’t buy a house with no money down, open up multiple credit cards, and blow money on things I couldn’t afford. Most of us can do this!!!!
Jacqueline Methling

Hi, I’m 24. I’ve completed my BS in Business Admin. I saved my money since I was 10 years old. I have 0 debt. I live in my own apartment with my beautiful girlfriend and work a good job because I busted my ass and got a degree in something besides history or creative writing.
Stephen Kirschenmann