Twelve 20-somethings chronicle their lives for WBUR. Learn more.
I wouldn’t say that my financial or employment situations have necessarily changed any of my relationships, but my relationships have been a minor source of frustration during this period.
My parents have always been supportive of my decisions and have seen me as successful and independent. Thankfully, my situation was never dire enough to warrant me having to ask them for help.
Unlike a lot of my friends, I never moved back home after college and since graduating I haven’t gone to them for financial assistance. I don’t owe this to luck, but to my frugality and ability to save while teaching. That savings allowed me to get myself back on my feet without having to go back to my parents.
While my parents are supportive, and though I don’t discuss job prospects or my finances with them, I do feel that there is a disconnect with their recollections of how the job market works and the actuality of how it is working for graduates today. For example, my father often tells me that all I have to do is get a job working for a state university or simply working for the state so I can be all set with benefits and retirement. But the way he talks about it makes it seem like something that is a) extremely easy to find for people of all skill levels, and b) that government jobs are multiplying by the second — when in fact, it’s the opposite.
On the same page are my grandparents, who often ask about my prospects in obtaining a teaching job. When I see them, they helpfully tell me about new schools opening up in the Boston area and places that are hiring, but they also fail to grasp the extreme competition to get into any Boston-area school districts, not to mention the lay offs in the area of social studies education.
The one relationship that was strained the most was with my very good friend. While I was becoming increasingly frustrated last fall in applying to jobs (more information on this frustration to come in my following post), I looked at him in envy and at times anger for the ease at which he was able to get into his field, not to mention his ability to make a very sizable hourly wage right out of college.
While I acknowledge his intelligence and hard work at getting into his position, I become frustrated because his choice to major in the sciences (biology) opened up more doors for him and opportunities for growth, while my choice to enter into the liberal arts in a sense stymied mine.
This was definitely a hard pill for me to swallow — that my educational choices as I was applying for college at the ripe age of 18 would set the expectation for my future salary fresh out of the gate.