As many of my readers know, seasons in my life are changing quickly. I started my original website with articles and posts about motherhood, homeschooling and being a mom of many. In a few weeks, the last one graduates.
You know, I’ve heard many people bemoan “empty nest syndrome”. I’m actually not feeling that at all.
Of course, my adult kids all still live at home, by their choice, at the moment while they get a good foundation laid for adulthood.
The world they are facing makes me reflect on the dramatic changes from the world I graduated into and the ones they are entering upon graduation.
When I was 18, I was able to work for minimum wage ($4.65) and with that I was able to…
- Pay for much of college (the 70% not covered by scholarships)
- Pay for art supplies (being an art major)
- Pay for lodging and food
- Save towards backpacking around Europe after college
Now, the minimum wage is $2 an hour more than what I was making when I got married and started a family. My husband made $3 an hour less than that. Yet the cost of living has risen so much that this minimum wage can barely pay for an apartment, food, and car upkeep let alone everything else. It just doesn’t make sense.
My one kid would have starved last month. All of their pay went into their car – repairs, gas, more repairs, and semi-annual car insurance.
The costs of college have risen to the point that no one could work for minimum wage today and pay their way through college. We know many who have tens of thousands in student loans while working a minimum wage job as they can’t find a good job in their field.
I’m proud that my kids have wisely chosen to work and save before leaving on their college adventure or other adventures if that’s what’s in store for them. I know it’s not easy. They and their friends face a great deal of mockery and criticism for not following “the plan” that previous generations have.
This generation takes an awful lot of flack from the older ones. In reality, they should be apologized to (profusely) for how badly they’ve been screwed over.