Change the Future of American Youth

“They’re doomed.”

“The odds are against all of them.”

“They’ll never make it in this economy/society.”

“The likelihood of them not struggling isn’t very promising.”

Youth today are on a train to nowhere. Going through a corrupt and pointless education system only to struggle with money for the rest of our lives, unless born into wealth or luck. Only 27% of college graduates have a job relating directly to their major. So many students will leave college and have a multi-year gap between that and finding a job related to their major. In the meantime, they’ll be working three jobs so that when their grace period is over, they can start paying back the hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans. But you know, so many jobs nowadays require a completed college education of some sort. So the student must go to school, pay so much money to get an education for a job they won’t be getting immediately out of school. It’s not a promising future in the slightest. And yet there are still so many over-educated workers in occupations that require less than a college degree. With such a bleak future, you would think a change would be made to benefit these students. A change is definitely being made…in college tuition. And when I say that, I mean that it’s being raised every single year. Put these students in more debt, it’s fine. Most for a mediocre education, some with worthless placement help. 

Being an arts student, my chances of “failure”, so to speak, are higher. However, I can vouch that even with an engineering degree, finding a job related to your major out of college is still incredibly difficult. While some may have the push to reach their potential, so many are left dragging their feet in fear and lack of motivation. And I know why.

Sure the logical answer is all that is stated above. But so many are forgetting that while realizing the blunt reality of the situation, one must still have hope. And if we are constantly telling these students that the opportunities out of college are slim, they begin to question: Why am I still in school? Is all of this even worth it? If I won’t find a job with a college degree, why even get one? 

Our students know failure stories when they should know success stories. Nobody believes in themselves anymore because nobody else believes in them. Reinforcement is necessary for motivation. Believe in others so that they can believe in themselves. Stop telling them that what they have to look forward to is a struggle and start telling them that the struggle can be short-lived as long as they take the right steps. Educate our students not just on what their major requires, but what it takes to reach the point of their potential. Teach them how to handle those few years fresh out of college and teach them how to find a job sooner rather than later. Provide early alternatives before they have the field experience to make it just where they want to be. Be practical.

And for the love of god, though I should not ever have to say this, believe in us for what they love. If he wants to be a painter, buy him the supplies to practice as much as he wants and you could have the next Picasso. If she wants to play music, find her opportunities to play anywhere and everywhere; you never know who could be in the audience. If he wants to be a writer, help him find internships with local newspapers or magazines. If she wants to be a graphic designer, pay for her design programs. If he wants to be a teacher, help him find the best areas for job development in school districts. Whatever it is, believe in us and help us. In order for one to be happy, they must do what they love. Money can never buy you happiness. It can buy you peace of mind, but never happiness.

As a generation or more before us, you need to change the face of youth in this country. You need to give us a better outlook on life. In order to keep us from failing, you need to set them up to succeed. It doesn’t start with us, it starts with you.

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