As I sit at my desk that is piled high with books for my MBA courses, Kate Spade journals waiting to be filled with notes, and a cup full of new le pens, I realize that furthering my education is an economic stimulus in itself. And with more than 50 million other people my age, I’m sure their desks look quite similar, maybe without the designer labels, but whether its in their dorm or their cubical on the 15th floor we are all working towards something greater.
With an ever-declining economy it is definitely a tough time to be graduating college and out in the real world looking for a job that will help us achieve our highest goals and dreams. A lot of us have relied on our parents for more than 18 years and now we want to be free from their restraints and make our lives our own. We are the next generation of politicians, lobbyists, lawyers, doctors, and in my case, entrepreneurs. Having goals plastered on our bathroom mirrors is something that hasn’t been seen until now, inspirational quotes are all over billboards and our personal bulletin boards are covered in quotes by Ghandi and the fictional Blair Waldorf. We strive for greatness every day and are still referred to as the “dumbest generation,” but I think we are the most ambitious generation that has walked this planet, yet we have an alarming sense of entitlement.
Looking at the students that roam campus, their ears are covered by gigantic headphones that could easily be mistaken for earmuffs, their heads are tilted down and their eyes are glued to their phones. They are checking twitter, facebook, pinning stuff on Pinterest, texting their bffs and shamefully asking their parents to put more money in their account. I have to admit that I want the latest and greatest of everything like all of the social media addicted millennials do. And we are surprisingly willing to spend our hard earned cash on the newest iPhone or tablet and we don’t even think twice. We are the best justifiers ever. We apparently need these materialistic things. For what reason? Just to one up one another. We are so accustomed to be handed trophies for running in a race that we didn’t even win that we need to fulfill our need for greatness by being able to showcase our wealth (or lack there of).
We are single handedly and unknowingly stimulating the economy by our almost superfluous purchases. The holidays are over and yet the mall here in Orlando, FL is filled with 20-somethings buying new Nike’s and designer jeans. Dropping more than $200 at multiple stores seems like NBD to these kids but what happens when the payroll ends? I graduate with my MBA soon and I have a feeling that I’ll be cut off right around then, thanks Dad! I noticed an incredible amount of girls toting some nice (and seemingly real) designer bags around campus today and just knowing that bags like those cost about half of a semester of classes makes me die a little inside. What happens when those student loans come due? How do you pay for them when you’re so used to carrying a thousand dollars worth of leather on your arm and not having any bills to worry about because your parents usually pay for everything?
Life is definitely not a spectator sport and millennials have to start realizing that we are essentially the future and everything we do and say is judged by onlookers. We are shaping the economy by every purchase we make, and those purchases might consist of the necessary schoolbooks or the unessential new Louis Vuitton bag, but one you have that diploma in hand, you’re in the real world. Welcome. It’s a rude awakening, so if we start to curb our tastes now and stop needing the newest of everything, we just might make it out there.