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In August, the Atlantic asked readers to share with us the one thing people didn't understand or appreciate about looking for work. You responded with beautiful, heart-wrenching accounts of the job search that we have published in four parts: The Unemployed Speak and Advice from Employers, Longer Voices of the Jobless, and What It's Like to Be Jobless in Your 20s.
The response from young people has been so overwhelming that we've decided to publish a second round of the most passionate, indignant and poignant dispatches from (or about) Millennials, or Generation Y. Leave a comment or send a note to our private email account firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep reading and sharing.
"I want to blame the universities and grown-ups who should have known better. Instead, like my me-first generation, I blame myself."
Subject line: MAD AS HELL
I'm only 23 and it's been barely over a year since I graduated from university. Yet already the work environment and the consequences of the "real world" have warped and degraded me. All I have are feelings of disillusionment and betrayal. If I were a mood ring, the color would translate to somewhere between quite desperation and self-loathing. I work full-time at a temp position that under-utilizes me. I make sure not to finish work to quickly, for fear it doing so will only shorten my employment. Before that I worked in retail. Before long, I may end up back there.
Much of my rage is reserved for a predatory system of higher education and the failures of a generation that came before. I'm angry that a "state" university costs as much as it does. That many, if not most of the students who attend, treat the experience like a 4-year version of MTV's Spring Break. Massive grade inflation means one less standard deviation between myself and those who don't try. Lax entrance standards means that even...