If I hear one more middle-aged person tell me how good I have it because I was born in the '90s, I'm going to literally barf so hard I shoot backwards across the room.
Thank you, you reptilian artifact of a man, for letting me know I have it super easy as a broke Latina woman simply because I was born around the same time Clinton got inaugurated. My life's a breeze. I'm being fed grapes as I type this.
You are so right, Robert or Jeff or Helen or whatever your leathery name is, I am so entitled. I'm the one that threw a tantrum because I thought I found a hair in my food at the Cheesecake Factory even though it was my own fucking hair, right? Oh no, that was you Helen! You old cobwebbed bitch!
"Oh but Ellie, if you're that broke, work your way through school."
I already did that, you dried up cadaver. I went to USC where I majored in Human Biology and worked the entire time I was in school to pay for my groceries and textbooks since my parents lived paycheck to paycheck. I commuted from home for one and a half years but moved back to school because I realized that I was getting more financial aid when I was in school since I was choosing a cheap place to live, whereas FAFSA assumed I didn't need that much money when I was living with my parents.
I got myself a laptop with a credit card that I'm still paying off and I was fully aware I didn't fit in with the culture at USC the entire time I was there but I didn't care. It was hard and it sucked but I did it and I'm unashamed that I had to do it while other people I knew could go on spring breaks to Cancun. I have a shiny degree with my name on it, lots of knowledge about things I'm passionate about, and a whole lot of debt.
The thing about financial aid is that they'll give you enough to make your dream a reality, but withhold enough that you have to take the maximum loans an undergraduate student can take (there's a cap each year which increases as you gain seniority, but you wouldn't know that because college cost $5 when you went) and so that your parents have to pay an amount that is just barely out of reach so that they have to resort to the parent PLUS loan but not feel too bad about it.
I have $30k in loans and my parents have $20k (which I fully intend to pay myself), and while that may not be too much compared to some folks, you have to remember that it's proportionate to how poor we are and I'm kind of freaking out.
"But Ellie if you knew college was expensive, why did you go?"
Tell me, Ebenezer, how else is a first-generation American Latina woman with no money supposed to be taken seriously and have a shot at success in this country where a man who said all Mexicans are rapists is being taken seriously in his presidential bid? How are you supposed to make a name for yourself when you know that Latina women make 56 cents to a white man's dollar in professional fields? What if you're one of the lucky ones who has supportive parents and wins the financial aid lottery and this is your only shot out of a cycle of poverty? Wouldn't you go too? I'll wait.
"Well Ellie, you know the jobs are in STEM."
True. Now I have a factoid for you, Roosevelt's ghost: all those jobs you're talking about require years of experience that I don't have even though I did major in a mothereffing STEM field. Yes, the entry level assistant jobs require experience too, and no, they don't count my paid internship since it wasn't a full-time job. Was I supposed to start working in public health research when I was 11 years old and too busy huddled in my middle school cafeteria listening to My Chemical Romance? Or perhaps pharmaceuticals when I was 17 and too busy getting fingerblaste... never mind.
"Oh Ellie, you ethnic darling, while you search for more jobs, why don't you just get a job at Starbucks or waitressing or as a nanny or working at a valet or (insert 'low-level' job here)? You millennials are so entitled and simply don't want to work one of those jobs."
This is the question that gets me the most. It seeps into me, into my soul, and reaches deep within me where it boils hot like the water I prepare for my Cup Noodles. Let me take a deep breath. Okay. Look at me. There. Are. No. Jobs. Out. There. There are no goddamn motherfucking jobs out there.
I have applied to Starbucks, Target, Best Buy, The Magic Dildo Emporium, McFuckingDonalds, several restaurants, CVS/Walgreens/RiteAid/anywhere you can buy soda and mascara and condoms in the same trip, nanny/tutor/caretaker jobs, Forever 21, H&M, Ulta, literally any job application that I come across.
You know why I get rejected?
- I have no retail or waitressing experience since my college internship was in cancer research and everyone else that applies for these jobs has at least some experience
- They're full and don't have vacancies
- They have other applicants who are either teenagers or older and have children and these populations are more desperate and easier to exploit (which is a sad truth)
- They sense, no matter how much you deny it, that people with degrees are likely to just take this job while they search for something else and will leave when given the chance
- You can't lie about your degree and say you never went to college because they have background checks and that still leaves you with no experience
There are no jobs, Humbert. There are no jobs. Believe me, I'd take a retail job this afternoon if I could.
"Well Ellie, this is what you get for choosing to live in Los Angeles."
I didn't choose to live in Los Angeles. My parents live here and they let me live with them free of charge now that I'm unemployed. I wouldn't live in LA right now if it was just me by myself. I can't just up and move somewhere with more jobs because moving costs thousands of dollars.
When some people see things like Talia Jane's piece about Yelp, they basically orgasm with self-righteousness. It gives them an excuse to hate on millennials and talk about what hard workers they are and how lazy everyone else is.
There are some older people out there who love hating on millennials and you know what? It's always the older people who believe that they're the authority on hard work because they worked in a restaurant once and now have a startup or something. It's rarely the older adults who are currently still struggling at a retail or restaurant job.
You know why? Because the self-righteous ones are so far removed from the struggle, even though they once endured it, that they think that things are the same now (completely forgetting about how much the economy and standard of living has changed) while the older adults who are still struggling know how difficult it is now, in 2016.
So, people that are having a field day with Talia's post and making it about how much all millennials suck, I want you to remember this. When you say that millennials are entitled jerks who have it super easy and don't know what hard work is, I want you to know that you're erasing millennials who comprise an enormous part of the population and are:
- First generation Americans
- Socioeconomically disadvantaged
- Children of single parents or orphans
- Have a physical or mental disability
- Are trans or LGBT
- A combination of the above or anything else
Now get off your high horse before you break your hip.
I know that your hatred of millennials is based on jealousy that we'll live longer than you and you inch closer to death with every labored breath and that you're afraid of technology and young people.
You know what? I might be poor and living in a shoebox, but I'll still find ways to stick it to the people that believe that millennials are entitled for simply wanting to exist in livable conditions. I just took a selfie and now I'm opening up the new Kendall and Kylie game.
That's right, the KARDASHIANS.
THE KARDASHIANS, YOU MESOZOIC ASSHOLE.
This post originally appeared on Medium.