Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Kids Are Actually Sort of Alright and NO! It Doesn't Suck to Be You.

I just got done reading The Kids Are Actually Sort of Alright, New York Magazine, October 24th issue by Noreen Malone. With all this #occupywallstreet going on out there, I was left wondering, #whycantthesekidsfindjobs?

I’m a mother of an 18 year old that just entered Buffalo State College as a freshman. The vibe the article gave me was, the young adults have been coddled and told they were so special and unique. I can attest to witnessing that while Simon was growing up. Everyone was a winner, everyone got a part in the play, everyone got to play on the team. Everyone got a trophy and we ALL had to sit through those arduous ceremonies awarding these meaningless “Participant” trophies for every child just for showing up. I found that this sort of adulation was going to bite somebody later in life. I didn’t expect it to be the kids, as they had EVERYTHING already, including no disappointments and the experience of being on a loser team. They were ALL winners! How could they not be the ones to rule the world and take us along for the ride?

Now what? Here we are, drowning in smart, special, and unique kids with no sense of getting the job done. Any job. Living at home well into their twenties. That’s fine with me if they’re paying part of the mortgage and taking the garbage out. I admire those who did work their tails off for those perfect SAT scores to get into the most expensive schools but not the part that they will be in debt for most of their adult lives. And I ache for those graduating with a bachelor’s degree and not finding their dream job, piling more education and debt upon themselves thinking a master’s will get them that entry job. A job that is barely above minimum wage. A job they thought they were going to get a trophy for just for showing up.

What are they going to school for? Is anyone helping high school juniors and seniors guide them in the right direction? That maybe, no, you won’t be a hedge fund owner or master of Wall Street because once you’re out of your small pond, there are plenty of other fish working harder, longer and for less money. With no college education. What happened to the entrepreneurial spirit? How about taking courses that can help people, that have a future? Philosophy or French History are fine if you’re a millionaire and have no money worries. When I hear some kid saying, “I’m going to major in English” I cringe. Really? What are you going to do with that?? Doesn’t their parents ask that of them? Take animation classes and create comic books. English Major? It was interesting that some of these people, like Sam and Desi, took on jobs just to pay the bills. Isn’t that what we all do to pay the bills? Weren’t they taught that growing up? Yes a super bonus would be to do a job you love and that comes to the next thing about the article that struck me, work your talent. Turn that into a job, business, career, your life blood. It’s the American way!

Life was made easy for this generation, being so fortunate to be raised during the boom times and getting the newest x-box or play station. Surrounded by the biggest and newest you could just point to it and it would be in your hands in an instant. I saw this coming, I knew that a shelf of worthless trophies were nothing but dust collectors. What’s wrong with bringing back craft, working with your hands? I’d rather see something my child made in woodshop on the mantle instead of that Chinese made trophy.

Take the classes to learn how to market your business and go to vocational school to learn a real skill, say sewing, so that we can bring back manufacturing to the United States. Aren’t young people smart enough to figure that out? If they’re spending time poking their friends and posting pictures on facebook, take the time to research small collectives or start a co-op business, start small, start on nickels and dimes you find in the sofa. Start a guild and find like minded geniuses, masters, journey men/women and share your talent with apprentices. #occupywallstreet, go #occupyafactory and get America going again. We need your enthusiasm, energy and fresh ideas. It doesn’t suck to be you, we love you and you’re our future. We all pinned our hopes and dreams on you. Now go out there and get the job done!

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