Successful Northeastern grad complains about not having anything to complain about

Most journalism students don't walk right into their dream jobs, but I suspect if they did, most probably wouldn't find a reason to whine about it.

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hey kid

You're 22, what are you doing with a NEW car payment? Clearly you didn't learn any personal financial tips there, now did you?

Sell the car, buy a bike, get a T pass, and a zipcar membership.

Also: a 3.1 GPA? At Northeastern? I mean, it's not BU, but...

Ha - I know this girl

Ha - I know this girl personally. She was the roommate of one of my high school friends who went to NU with me. I am surprised to hear her say she has student loans, she acted like a kid who's parents were floating their tuition, and bragged about where she grew up. But, I did only know her through someone else, so my perception could be totally off.

As an NU grad who is almost a year out of school, I also got a great job for my field before I even graduated. It pays my rent, loans (because I legitimately paid my way through school) and my other bills, but I certainly don't feel like I'm missing out on my twenties...that seems really ludicrous. I definitely don't wish I was living with my parents working a part time job either. How that could be appealing at all is beyond me.

In other news

It's so tedious to be able to eat anything I like without ever getting fat. I'd almost kind of like to be able to live like a stressed-out fattie. I often find myself lamenting the fact that I'm not yo-yoing from one crackpot diet to the next like my friends from college.

Wow

Any writer who makes multiple Carrie Bradshaw references, while complaining about her full time, good paying job...probably has a better job than they deserve.

Choices in Life

I was nearly 40 before I finished my degree and got a job I really love and started to travel to neat places outside the US for my job.

I sometimes bring my family with me if timing and money work out, but mostly not. Now my husband and I are finally going to Europe on an actual, not work-related vacation and we started getting flack from the kids about it.

I made one thing clear: we have waited 45 and 50 years to be able to do these things, and had to work to get them, as well as make choices and sacrifices to get where we are and do what we do. They are exceptionally lucky that they even get to tag along on our travel, and that we can pay for them to go on the junior year school foreign-language trips - something that was entirely out of the question for their parents at that age.

If they want more from life? If they want the life their parents have worked for? They will need to earn it and to make it happen. These things are not handed out like candy on demand. If my older one wants to be a writer, he has been told that it may be a good idea to look past the glossy brochures for expensive private colleges and check out UMass, where he won't need loans. If he keeps his grades up, he can even get a total and full ride with paid living expenses, which opens up more possibilities as parents will then have cash to bankroll a summer session or term abroad as a reward for not bankrupting us. Even high school kids and college kids can make such choices.

Somebody needs to point this stuff out to Ms. Havitall here: the life you want is probably possible - you may just have to wait until your 30s or 40s or even 50s to live it. You will also have to take positive steps toward it - like, cultivate contacts and keep your eye on the job market and job openings that pay enough - with your increasing experience - to live how and where you want.

Twenties are a misnomer

For some reason, "society" tells twentysomethings that they need to "enjoy their youth" and "have fun," and then they encase it in a world of high-end dining, global travel, exotic hookups, and designer clothes. Or they encase it in bohemian hobo terms of backpacking through foreign countries, couch-surfing in broken-down apartments, going to a dive bar and ending up passed out in an alley, and living on ramen in tattered clothing while struggling to pay for a T pass.

Sadly, the reality is halfway in the middle: You're tethered to a mediocre job that pays the bills and nothing more, you can't afford anything fun not to mention luxurious, and you can't afford the bohemian lifestyle because if you missed work for these nomadic trips, you wouldn't have a paycheck for airfare.

Yet people keep telling twentysomethings not to settle down. Don't get married, don't have children, don't create a savings- go out and have fun and be reckless because you're only young once! Yet in reality, if you spend your twenties broke and single, then spend the hard-earned spare money of your thirties and forties on the banalities of owning a mediocre home and scraping together diaper money, you'll be well into your fifties or sixties before you can even afford a halfway-decent vacation. Except by then, you'll be fighting age-discrimination layoffs and won't be able to take vacation time from work.

TL:DR Summary: You're going to struggle your entire life once you're on your own if you listen to other people and don't make your own choices.

I can suffer the whine (barely), but not the comparisons.

I don't know who the hell all of the people mentioned in this article are, but I suspect that they are all famous/celebrity types that are either fictional or real. Either way I don't care about what they did, didn't do or how they lived, and the author shouldn't either - except to realize the following:

Making comparisons to people like this, as if they are some kind of standard for behavior or measure of success, is ridiculous. It is remarkably similar to the way in which a lot people discuss the economy these days - if you listen closely, you will notice that a lot of people are implicitly comparing the current economy to that of the late 90s.

That comparison is at least as ridiculous as the author's, as that time period in no way represented a standard "good" economy, much less some kind of baseline from which ups and downs can be measured. It was not normal - it was an aberration the likes of which are unlikely to be seen again for a long time, and the sooner that we realize that, the sooner we can start having honest discussions about economic policy.