I could cover many things in this little letter, but there are some key topics I need to address that are to the point and unapologetically honest. First of all, why do you make trying to create a functional, stable and happy home so impossible to obtain? The housing market is bare for all of us hardworking 20 somethings trying to pursue a career in something that will make us better working class citizens for you. Also, why is price gouging legal and why is your solution offering incentives to cities and towns to build more housing, but make those new buildings so incredibly expensive we will never be able to afford them? If by some miracle there is a house on the market we can afford, we go to the open house or to the showing only to be asked by some 40 something who hates her job, “Is there anyone over the age of 18 who can fill out the application?” “Well you might want to check before filling it out, we have a lot pending.” If you were wondering, no, we aren’t lazy college students who party all day and don’t work hard. We work as much as we can while going to school full time and try to get A’s in high demanding classes by even higher demanding professors. You expect me to work full time, go to school full time, pay rent, food, transportation, and all other expenses with a minimum wage job because no one wants to hire and train a college student because we lack the experience that we haven’t even been alive long enough to gain. Tell me how that makes sense, because it just doesn’t. Tell me how you offer options such as financial aid when you won’t even offer me the right amount of money to pay for housing let alone school due to my parents being not qualified enough or too qualified…too qualified. Let’s address that for a second. Sure my single mother makes this amount of money because she worked her ass off for it and now you expect her to pay for my whole college experience? I think not. In case you didn’t know, we also want to work hard for our money because that’s what our smart and capable parents raised us to do. However, even if there was a certain amount of money you could possibly lend me that somehow magically covered my college funding, you expect to pay that off in how many years? By the time I graduate? Oh and by then I’m supposed to have this dream job paying me enough money to pay off these student loans? That’s funny government.
Let’s also talk about working while going to school because this topic offers up several issues. The mental, physical and emotional stress we go through on a daily basis. It’s almost too much to bare. The expectations to be a perfect student and a perfect employee. These two worlds never seem to mesh. One side says, “Just drop out of school and go to work.” The other side says, “Don’t work and live off student loans that you will never be able to pay off.” There is no perfect balance because there are no better options. Hey, but what about scholarships? A solution! Yay! Think again. They say there are thousands if not millions of dollars that go to waste every year, but then you start applying and the whole application process might as well be a full time job because you could fill out hundreds and the chances of getting any are as good as if you are trying to win the lottery. Speaking of applications let’s talk about getting a job as I glazed over earlier. You go into interview after interview, bright eyed and bushy tailed hoping this one will be the one. Your hopes and dreams are quickly demolished after being harassed by the creepy, old, low life manager who asks too many personal questions. You run home crying and feeling so violated. What is one to do? How does one handle this? You decide to contact the EEOC. They have to be of some help, right? Only to be confronted with pages and pages of legal documents and you try calling but the wait time is hours. Drive to the nearest one? I don’t think so, the nearest one is 2-3 hours in bumper to bumper traffic. Send it in the mail? It will get lost in a heap of other claims and your terrible experience will get thrown away because you had only a small amount of time to report it before it was forgotten and became old news in the eyes of the government. But I won’t. I won’t forget getting harassed and feeling completely worthless as a 20 something female college student, (not like my gender has anything to do with it, oh but it does. It does).
So, government….what are we to do about this? I’m not saying there is going to be an easy and fast solution and i’m not asking for one. I’m just asking for a chance. An opportunity to be taken a little bit more seriously than the way us hardworking 20 somethings have been taken. I’m just asking for a little….sorry….A LOT of urgency and attention to this issue that plagues millions of families and hardworking Americans every day.
A hardworking, strong, persistent, driven, passionate, college student, 20 something, female trying to make something of herself in this ‘great’ nation we call the United States of America and in honor of hardworking individuals everywhere in the pursuit of happiness.