My struggle with Generation XYZ.
For someone who has often identified with GenY, respected GenX, but lives in GenZ, life has been somewhat…difficult lately. Being in my early 20's, I’ve come to realize that not having a college degree and having financial instability are the two things you don’t want. If you don’t have money, you can’t pay for school. If you can’t pay for school, you can’t really get a degree to help you get a better job for more money.
I was left in a slight unfortunate turn of events when my father had a heart attack and triple bypass back in 2004 and then a year later, my mother passed away. With my father still in the stages on recovering and having barely any kind of income, I looked to the sky wondering where God was. My sister left for college in 2007, and with not much coming in while my dad worked, I figured it would be up to me to solve things. I first tried my hand at garage sales.
Let’s just stop there.
Fast forward to my years in university, I held a job working as an administrative assistant at the school IT company. That lasted me a good year and change, before my world got rocked and I was left in a sick cycle of moving home, back to school, moving home…and this happened for about 2 years. Finally, I decided I would drop the idea of school for that season of my life. During my years in school, I worked everything from bartender, barista, salad bar worker, ice cream sundae extraordinaire, sandwich artisan (Oo fancy), waitress, and administrative assistant.
Basically with two part time jobs, I was working overtime and still trying to make ends meet. Paying for bills, rent, my expenses, and an education I was bound to fail from my lack of sleep and overworking, led me to think that there wasn’t going to be much else at this point in my life, so I moved home. During the time I was home, I worked as a medical receptionist for an urgent care facility and later, a physical therapy office receptionist. Though the pay was great at both places, due to the lack of qualifying educational proof (a degree of some sort), I wasn’t making enough money with the part time jobs I had been blessed with. It also didn’t help that I wasn’t living “at home” with my parents, who still to this day refuse to move out from Long Island.
“What is wrong with me?” I would question. At the time, I finally found a job with my church which I am still currently working as well as babysitting. It’s been tough but I have gotten much more responsible with my money and time. However, I think being linked to GenX reminds me that I need to work hard. I need to work and just make it happen. GenY reminds me that I want to finish school. But how can I? I love seeing my friends graduate, but I often feel I can’t be enthused as I desire to because I’m not able to do that for myself. GenZ makes me want to give up because I don’t feel like I fit in and it’s difficult for me to think that kids these days care about being educated at all.
In the end, I guess I’m still looking to graduate, even if it isn’t in the field I’ve wanted my career to be in. For now, I’m blessed to have money in my bank account, a savings account, and food on the table.