I awoke suddenly last night from a terrorizing nightmare. I was about to graduate college in three weeks, I had no guarantee of a full time job and enough student debt to put a down payment on a San Francisco apartment. As I was in line for Chipotle feeling sorry for myself I requested extra guacamole on my burrito. At that moment a multimillionaire property manager appeared in front of me on the other side of the counter and proceeded to eat my burrito in front of my eyes, after stating that I could never be a homeowner if I let my addiction to avocado and overpriced lattes consume my bank account. That’s when I woke up.
Only some of that isn’t true. Mostly the part about it being a dream and real estate tycoon Tim Gurner enjoying my burrito for me, although he did say those words on Australian national television. If you have found yourself in the same situation I have now, you probably have the same questions. Does my avocado consumption really have a long term effect on my ability to be a homeowner? Why is avocado so expensive in the first place? You might have found yourself Googling how feasible it is to run away from student debt by moving to Canada and living in out of a car. Who needs to buy a house anyways when you can live in the comfort of your 15 year old nissan in desperate need of an oil change.
Despite the impractical input from wealthy individuals who have made their start from trust funds and inheritances, us millennials don’t really see an easy way out. They can disguise the faults of a broken capitalistic system in our reluctance to turn away extra avocado and $4 lattes all they want. However, the problem will not go away by simply passing blame onto a speculation about the frivolous spending habits of our generation.
There’s no harm in budgeting, especially if you see yourself as a homeowner in the future. The reality is that it will only get you so far.
According to Fortune Magazine millennials make on average 20 percent less than baby boomers did at the same age, despite being the largest generation in the U.S. workforce.
In addition USA Today reports that “the median college-educated millennial with student debt is only earning slightly more than a baby boomer without a degree did in 1989.”
Finding a source of income isn’t a huge concern of mine. I have a loving family who will gladly let me move into my old bedroom while I seek employment at the same restaurant I worked at in high school.
Myself along with my fellow graduates know that we can do more, we are worth more. College has not only given me a degree but it has taught me how to find what’s important to me, and how to turn that passion into something productive. We all have a passion unique to us that we are ready to share with the world.
Contrary to popular belief millennials don’t need constant praise. What we do need is reassurance. We need to be told that we are on the right track, though we might not think so at times. We need to know that what we are doing will change the world into a place that we want to bring children into.
Throughout my four years in college I have had the privilege to know some incredibly hard working, intelligent individuals. These are the people that I want to see lead the world one day. We are ready to take on the responsibility but we need to be pointed in the right direction.
It’s time for my parents generation to pass the torch that they have been holding onto so tightly and trust that we will keep it burning.