Recently, I've noticed a trend within my generation. People are living outside their means.
Maybe it's the boy who has an $800 drinking ticket and a bottomed-out bank account, but he still opts to drop $300 on spring break. Maybe it's the kid who can graduate in three years, but he chooses to stay the four even though he can't afford it. Maybe it's the student who studies abroad, even though he has to create a GoFundMe to do so, and can barely afford tuition as it is.
I'm not saying these people don't deserve great experiences, or that they don't deserve to do the things they're doing. But since when have people felt so entitled to things they can't afford to have?
My mother worked her way through college but admits that this is no longer feasible due to the rising costs of education. I know college degrees are crucial to getting access to the middle or upper class. However, beyond that, we aren't entitled to extraneous experiences.
Even college is a privilege. But this is something we tend to forget.
For some reason, my generation gets caught up in keeping up and matching what it deems the “college experience,” even though the college experience has transformed itself into something else entirely.
According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, over 40 percent of undergraduate students work over 30 hours a week while enrolled. If this is the case, why are there viral videos online about people using their student loan money to travel to Thailand instead of to actually pay off their student loans?
It's situations such as these that call into question just how entitled the current college-aged generation is. Loans are given to those in need. They need to be paid back when the person is able to do so. The money that you have to pay back your student loans is not supposed to be used to go on luxurious vacations that most middle-class Americans don't even get to go on.
Maybe it's the countless Facebook posts, Instagram posts or tweets by peers and celebrities that cause these young adults to believe they deserve the very best. Or maybe it's just the current mindset of our generation as a whole.
In my own life, I see people without jobs flaunting how much they need aid while simultaneously using the money they do have irresponsibly. It's a paradox, and it won't be solved with politics or money.
For some reason, the current generation finds itself comparable to celebrities and the upper class. But previously, college students flaunted how much they ate ramen and lived on a budget. The new norm has become expansive study abroad semesters, where students study around in a variety of countries and vacation as they please.
Again, let me reiterate that I have nothing against people doing this. Traveling teaches people a lot of life lessons, and I understand the pros of studying abroad. However, I don't believe it should be done on someone else's dime.
It is not a necessity to study abroad. Therefore, if you can't afford it, don't do it.
By creating this mindset of entitlement, our generation will continue to crumble in all aspects of life. Without proper budgeting skills, these young adults will have issues with their mortgages, car payments and just about every financial aspect in general.
Although I fully support spontaneous adventures, spring breaks and studying abroad, I find that the issue with my generation is this: We overuse these treats and find ourselves feeling entitled to every single luxury. But at the end of the day, we're not even entitled to a college education.