16 Millennials On How They Actually Feel About The Whole ’American Dream’ Thing

via twenty20/tripplex03
via twenty20/tripplex03

1. “I’d really, really like to believe there’s even such a thing as the American Dream but the last couple of years have been hard. It took me nearly a year to get a job in my field after college and the one I took doesn’t look like it’s going to really offer me much opportunity to get ahead which means that I’ll probably be job hunting again within the next six months. If I don’t start making more money then my college loans will always be eating the same chunk of my income and I’ll never get anywhere.”

— Darren, 24

beetlejuice

2. “I’m a second generation Mexican-American immigrant and joined the Marines at 18. After getting out I went to college, got my degree, and went to work for Boeing. For me, the American dream is very much alive and is very real even though things continue to be tough. I worked hard, did my time, and now I have a good job.”

— Javier, 28

beetlejuice

3. “The American Dream is a thing the rich dangle in front of poor people to make them work.”

— Sheila, 25

beetlejuice

4. “A lot of my friends seem to think the American Dream is something cliche like a nice little house with a picket fence and all that but I think they probably get that from movies and stuff. To me, the American Dream is just about the opportunity to work and apply yourself and get ahead.”

— James, 23

beetlejuice

5. “It’s a dated concept but still a real one. Some people talk about it like it’s the ‘American guarantee’ and they’re disappointed but it’s not called a dream for nothing.”

— Catherine, 27

beetlejuice

6. “This probably sounds a little naive but whatever. When I entered the workforce in 2012 I very much believed that if I just worked hard and was a team player then I’d get ahead. What I didn’t count on is just how thirsty these fuckers are out here and by thirsty I mean willing to screw over anyone to get ahead. I have a hard time believing in the American Dream now if only because almost nothing seems to be based on merit and it feels like everyone’s just trying to rip one another off.”

— David, 25

beetlejuice

7. “For the record, the American Dream is mostly about the rights in the constitution and the ability to democratically elect leaders so that the nation (me and everyone else) can choose how we prosper. So, what I’m saying is, whether you think the American Dream is real or not, you’re absolutely right. The American Dream isn’t about a guaranteed job, it’s about a government by, for, and of the people.

I think that’s probably too much responsibility for some.”

— Nellie, 28

beetlejuice

8. “I live with my parents and I’m 25 so I don’t really feel like it has much to do with me.”

— Pam, 25

beetlejuice

9. “I think it’s dead and most everyone else I know does too. We’re the first generation shackled with seemingly endless debt tied to useless degrees we were told we should get because loving our major was somehow supposed to be enough. It wasn’t. It’s not.”

— Peter, 26

beetlejuice

10. “I really do think that people who have bad things to say about the American Dream are either generationally poor or just horribly entitled bitches. Everyone in my generation thinks they’re supposed to be rich.”

— Jessica, 24

beetlejuice

11. “It’s real and it’s alive. It’s just that a lot of us got scammed into thinking we had to pay a ton of money just to get a good job. I have a four year degree and three years after entering the workforce I’m still only making 35k a year. My younger brother said ‘fuck it’, didn’t go to college, got his electrician’s degree, and makes nearly 50k a year now. Oh, and he’s not bitter like me.”

— Marvin, 27

beetlejuice

12. “I think it’s hard to feel like the American Dream is anything besides something that’s for wealthy White people. Every day I see that the government shoots Black people in the service of what seems like an unspoken caste system while filling prisons with poor people. I can’t think of a time it was ever really different in the U.S. between Indian genocide and slavery so, nah, it was never real.”

— Ashley, 26

beetlejuice

13. “My Dad brought my family here in 1995 from Palestine. He opened his own business and put me and my brother through college all while he worked 12 hours days, six days a week. It was his dream that his kids do well. It pretty much sickens me when I hear people my own age talking badly about the U.S. when they’ve never lived anywhere and have no idea what most of the rest of the world is actually like in comparison.”

— Ibrahim, 29

beetlejuice

14. “I think that right now my generation feels a little betrayed by bad planning on the part of the government and unreasonable demands placed on a generation that was told it was a great idea to pay a lot of money for a great education when just an okay education would have probably been fine.”

— Sean, 27

beetlejuice

15. “Is the American Dream real? Hmm, people probably decide whether an idea like this is dead based on how well they’re doing themselves, right? So, if people aren’t doing to well right now or feel they aren’t then they’re gonna say it’s dead, right? Personally, I’m not doing as well as I’d imagined I would be but I’m hopeful. I guess that’s a kind of dream.”

— Janice, 26

beetlejuice

16. “I didn’t go to college straight out of high school and while I think it’s good I didn’t I also saw that there’s literally nothing out there for people with only high school diploma to their name and with the cost of college being what it is there’s millions and millions of people getting left behind. My dad never went to college but he was a trained machinist. In today’s economy he’d be screwed. Anyway, the funny thing is that once I actually got my college degree and got a job I discovered that you didn’t even fucking need a degree to do the job, it was just a totally arbitrary requirement. We’re being forced to pay our way into jobs that a willing-to-learn 16-year-old could do.”

— Aaron, 31 TC mark

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  • http://indepthwoman.wordpress.com indepthwoman

    I feel you #7- Nellie and #16-Aaron

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