I am part of a generation lost in transition, hell we really aren't even a generation just a small (yet growing) group of kids born from 1986-1988, henceforth I will refer to us as Recession grads. It use to be that you would go to college and come out with a career, not always a bright shimmering career or even the one you thought you wanted, but a career. However for graduates of the past couple of years this has been anything but a reality. Having been forced out into a world not willing to except us we found difficulty in cementing our position in society, are we adults? Are we children? Some of us benefited from life altering events (pregnancy, getting a career, joining the military) that forced them to grow up and become adults in every sense of the word. Many of us though were left in behind staring at the ceilings of our childhood rooms (or rooms resembling them anime calendars, piles of cloths and stuff animals included) to wonder what our role was in the “real” world.
Returning home or leaving for greener pastures we searched high and low for any entry into the career field we spent the last four years preparing for, eventually we moved on to any career will do, and then we moved back to jobs we left in high-school, only to find out those were no longer their no matter how much we begged and pleaded. Many of us eventually found a job that pays enough to pay the rent while we defer our student loans year after year. As waiters, retail employees, lot attendants and a slew of other minimum wage employees we come home each day and wonder who we are suppose to be. Am I still a kid? because society treats me that way, we can't get loans to buy a car without a co-signer, so we are forced to ask our parents for more help.
Time and time again society forces us back into the hands of our parents, asking our mothers for a little more finical help or our fathers if they can get us a job where they work. We don't want to be humiliated and we are sick of being told that we should have worked harder, when 85% of college grads move back home to live with their parents and the one's like myself who didn't who still work for smaller paychecks then they made during summer break in college, you can blame us? Are we lazy? Did we say “hell let's all go to college and the day we graduate lets just be like FUCK the last 4 years what I rather do IS flip burgers, wish I would have figured that out before I was $75,000 in debt.
So had did we react? We seemingly went back to being kids, we spend our free time playing video games and eating junk food, we come off as immature to anyone who dares come across our online persona's. Why? Because we don't feel like adults, yeah we have the responsibilities of paying bills and cleaning up our own messes, but other then that we are just kids, kids who are starting to look older, kids who are starting to realize that 30 is closer then 18 and what do we want with our lives? Will we just become the lost children of the late 80's who grow up with superior educations yet are constantly underemployed and underutilized? Honestly that's probably exactly what will happen, it did the last time we had a recession, and that one wasn't a quarter as bad as this one.
With this years graduating class expecting to grab more entry level jobs, those of us who have been in the market for 1 or 2 or even 3 years are pushed aside for the “fresh” talent. This is a fact, I'm not going to bother going and sourcing all my statements because it's all out their and you know how to Google, so the next question becomes, “what do we do?” Do we go back to school, into more debt, so we can be part of the fresh crop? Do we just keep applying at hundreds of jobs and getting no replys? Do we just give up and accept our fate? All of those play on the mind but the real question bugging me is, when do I grow up? When do I stop wearing bright orange clothing? When do I stop writing comics involving dinosaurs and goldfish? I am already balding, and 30 second of staring in the mirror freaks my brain cause I am convinced I'm still 17 yet I look much older.
I have a lot of friends in similar predicaments, still acting like kids, working dead end jobs, living with their parents or other relatives. Dreaming of someday being able to say “Hey, let me get the bill when their parents come to visit.” Dreaming of being able to go to work and not wear a visor. Dreaming of just being able to say “things are looking up.”
My friends and co-young 20's people will most likely be lost in transition for awhile. The economy may seem like it's picking up but jobs aren't and as we already discussed those jobs will be filled by those kids lucky enough to have been born in the early 90's. We will eventually find careers, start families, and maybe even grow up. But until then we will be happy with our dinosaurs and band t-shirts and maybe just maybe this is the universe giving us a second chance at dreaming about our futures like we did as kids. We sure aren't stuck on the corporate ladder and maybe that'll just make us invent an elevator.