My last post centered around my concern for my bank account, which lead me on a meandering path about other things that I want to do and how much money they are going to cost. Not with specifics, you know, just about wanting to travel and how I’m going to have to be frugal this year and play it smart if I still want to enjoy time away from home. It also brought to mind the debt that I am incurring going back to school.
When I was first inspired to apply for the masters program at UNO, I had no thought at all about how much it would cost. I actually didn’t even look that up until I was well into the process. As I waited to hear if my application was going to be accepted I did look into it and all at once it became a major concern. I actually considered abandoning the path even before I was on it because of the cost (almost 40 grand), but the side of me that is searching for something more in my life and understands that I’m only given a short time to do the things that are meaningful to me, won out. So I accepted the risk and the cost and now I’m in it.
Logging into my account on the University website is a huge reality check. The semester is underway and I am enrolled and now I owe that money no matter what happens (at least one semesters worth). It’s the first time in a long time I have had any debt, so it is a shock to my system. I did, like most people, jump through the hoops to see what financial aid I could get.
I submitted that paperwork weeks ago, and just a few days ago heard back from the powers that be on what I would be allowed to borrow. In truth, the whole thing seemed incredibly easy.
It was like “hey, can I have some cash for school?”. And then Bam!…
“Sure. Here’s a cool 10 grand. Enjoy!”
It made me question – Is this how the system works now? No wonder hundreds of thousands of millennials are in debt and have no clue about money. Frankly it’s too easy and they already have no clue how to work hard and earn .. anything (no fault of their own). I at least know what it is I have to do to make that money AND make a real contribution in my endeavors along the way.
I happened to watch another video by Simon Sinek (again with the ‘Why Guy”) about the problem with millennials. He defines that population as anyone born after 1984 and in the video articulates how it really is not their fault they have no clue.
It’s because of poor parenting, technology, impatience, and the environment. I would argue that impatience is actually a result of the other three and not a cause, but he lists it as one of the four causes. He makes a very strong case for society being to blame and that now the burden of correcting that problem falls squarely on the shoulders of corporate America where these people now Work. The big take away, is it is NOT their fault. I also agree with his statements about people/humanity as a collective and our desire to “feel” like we are contributing and that we have a purpose. What the millennials don’t have is any sense at all for how hard a person has to work to achieve the things they dream about.
They see a mountain, but don’t know how to climb it or even what equipment they need to do so. They don’t know how long it will take and what impact it will have on their bodies. They have no clue because they have never been taught or given an example and THAT is the fault of their parents, our culture and teachers, and frankly, a lot of the so-called role models these people were given.
The video is quite good and at one point made me tear up (but that’s probably just because I’m me). Here’s a link … Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace
I was born before 1984, so I’m not in that group, I’m Gen X. I don’t feel entitled and I have a pretty good idea what it takes to accomplish the things I want to accomplish. Right now I have a mountain ahead of me with this Masters program, and I’m under no delusion of grandeur about how hard it is going to be to climb. Right now it’s day by day, one foot in front of the other.
If I am mindful and talking to my children about it and showing them what I’m having to do to earn my successes, then they will be better for it too. According to one source, they are not millennials, they are Gen Z or the iGen. I think the jury is still out on what their signature character traits will are because they are still so young. That just means that there is still time for us Gen X parents to shape how our Gen Z children will be in society. Its not too late to turn them away from being clone copies of the misguided and confused millennial population.
Well, at least not in the case of my children anyway. But I’m only one person and it really does take recognition and a collective effort from many, many people to actually make a change that is systemic and lasting. I have no control over that, and as I have stated before, am in no position to lead the charge on anything. I’m just doing the best I can do everyday for myself and my children and looking for a leader with a vision I can get behind. Which might turn out to be the biggest challenge of all!
From the Foothills,