Recent college graduates face a brutal job market, with many being forced to move back home with their parents and subsist on part-time employment. But some who land jobs think they have it just as hard.
Taylor Cotter, who has been working two months at college website, Student Advisor, as an editorial assistant (basically someone’s slave for 10 to 16 hours a day), cavalierly laments she hasn’t suffered as much as her unemployed, struggling Generation-Z peers.
Rather than graciously count her blessings, Cotter, 22, romanticizes 20-something poverty and bellyaches that her path to employment (albeit for two months) has just been too easy.
In a July 10 blog item on the HuffingtonPost, Taylor, who lives outside of Boston, writes:
“Now, two months after graduation, I seem to be one of just a handful of people that’s been able to get themselves on their feet, pay their own bills and actually put together some semblance of an adult life with minimal parental assistance. I bought a car, found an apartment and set up a 401k, just six months after turning 22. I came down on the ‘right’ side of every statistic — I found a job in my field that actually pays well, I’m living on my own, and seem to have everything that these other college graduates are dying to have.
“I suppose that I’m grateful that I can make all my car payments and start saving for retirement while most of my friends are living at home and working part-time jobs — but I often find myself lamenting the fact that I’m not living at home and not working a part-time job. From my perspective, these are just some of the life-changing, character-building experiences that I may never have.”
Since the post was published, Cotter has been slammed in the blogosphere and been accused of being condescending, naive and tragically ignorant. Of course, most of us remember some of the stupid things we said and thought when we were her age, so maybe people shouldn’t judge her too harshly.
Among the Internet comments directed at young Taylor include the following nuggets of cyber-wisdom:
“This is the very essence of the recent trend of bragging masked as a complaint. Its such a hipster thing to do. Not a good look.”
“She’s an editorial assistant at StudentAdvisor, a website that helps students ‘research colleges with free match and compare tools.’ It’s not like she’s a real journalist.”
“Those character-building experiences will get your *ss one way or another.”
“I can hardly even remember being 22…It’s a long slog, Taylor. Don’t get comfortable on those laurels.”
“Struggling is not so glamorous, lady, and it sure as hell isn’t an an adventure, a freedom, or makes one feel more youthful. I believe the band Harvey Danger put it best, ‘if you’re bored then you’re boring.’ Maybe it’s time to look for a little fulfillment in your life outside of your job.”
“Hey, look on the bright side. If your employer reads this, you might get your wish. Cheers!”