So just to let you guys know…the anxious refreshing of my gmail account has temporarily ceased! I have an interview invitation for one of the nursing programs I applied to for October 24th (the day after my 21st). Right now, I am one nervous and thankful girl!! Hopefully, there will be a second invitation coming next week!

On another note, I’ve been enjoying reading about Occupy Wall Street, especially since I’m part of the 99%. Many of you, I’m sure, will be disappointed over my ambivalence, but I truly sympathize with my fellow 99 percenters. The job market IS tough out there, especially for those who didn’t have jobs in high school or worked in professions like food service. It’s difficult to get a job in or right after college.

But, on the other hand, I do have a few theories about it that I’ll share, controversial as they may be. I’ve been working as a recruiter for the test prep company, and I’ve also tried to recruit new people for my caregiving job…a lot of people complain about not getting jobs, but it’s amazing how many people will turn down work! I have been given a myriad of reasons, like not wanting to drive an extra fifteen miles or not wanting to put time in for training…this is all well and good, but it’s still a JOB. Which is MONEY. Maybe it’s just me, but it’s really hard for me to turn down work. Sometimes I have to, because I just work too many hours to fit other work in. So I do think that some people CAN work, but choose not to because the job is not ideal.

After graduation, I noticed that my acquaintances who struggled to find a job were also the one who had party pics and careless Facebook status…coincidence? I’m guessing it’s not.

This is all coming from my upper-middle class background (although I have worked at least part-time since I was fifteen and babysat before that), but for my sweet fiancé, life has not always been so easy. He didn’t have the benefit of being able to volunteer or work more skilled jobs. He just had to take what was available, which was factory work and retail. Then, when he went off to a college town, it took a year and a half to find a job!! That was not for lack of trying, either. Now, he works two part-time jobs very diligently and with an admirable attitude.

(If I had to work food service like he does, I would blow up every day…it’s wayyy too chaotic and disorganized for someone like me!! Plus, management at those places is usually a nightmare). Eventually, with enough training, he’ll be able to bridge into his field, but it’s going to take awhile. Sometimes getting somewhere takes a lot of persistence and time, especially when you have to do it ALL by yourself. Anyway, he is one of the best workers I know and such great husband material, but I’ll stop before I embarrass him too much.

So yes, the job market is tough for young people, but I think that with compromise and sacrifice, it’s doable. Saving for college is so important, because it’s nearly impossible to pay by yourself to go full-time. Taking out loans for school is different than it used to be, and I’ve known a lot of people that it’s really hurt. Loans are larger, because tuition has risen exponentially. Scholarships often tuition, but not fees, which totaled almost $2000 at the university I attended. After graduation, loans have to be paid back, and because of the job situation, most people can’t afford to pay. Grad school and moving back in with parents is the only option for most people. Even though I have two great jobs and work over 50 hours a week, I still live with my parents. It hasn’t been practical to move out yet.

I sympathize so much for people who have these nice degrees, huge loans, and crappy jobs. One day, it might get better, but until the economy bounces back, it’s going to be hard. The biggest improvement that I think individuals can make is to help others out, especially Christians. If someone with a bit money would wisely invest in a younger person who is struggling through school, or if someone with connections helped another person get a better job, I think the state of the nation would be drastically improved! So many people have needs that none of us know about, and I think that many of the problems we’re facing as a nation could have been avoided if we, as the Church stepped up and served our fellow neighbors, even in little ways. Though I tend to be more conservative politically, I do appreciate programs, because they can do a lot of good. I also think we could avoid dumping money into programs by enabling people to help themselves.

I desperately want things to change on a national level, but I don’t think they’ll change permanently unless they change on the individual level. That takes time, patience, money, and love. I know we won’t be successful for several more years, and we may all get there when we’re closer to 30 than 20.

To those who are struggling right now, a Richard Rahl quote comes to mind:

Your life is yours alone; rise up and live it!