Millions of millennials at the polls
KEVIN DO | CONTRIBUTOR
After spending their undergraduate careers trapped in biology labs and enduring time-consuming internships to expand their resumes, students never expect that sacrificing their lives in college would leave them unemployed. Upon graduating from college, many students think that the opportunities for a successful career were endless but often left jobless with nothing to show for their degrees.
Despite the amount of millennials expected to enter the voting booths in this upcoming election, we need to begin mobilizing our voices now to have our issues heard. According to Federal Reserve Bank of New York economist Jaison Abe, millennials are anticipated to make up almost 77 percent of the vote in the upcoming 2016 Presidential Elections and yet, there is an underwhelming emphasis on our future during the presidential debates. We, as millennials, are told to aim for a college degree at a distinguished institution to ensure that we find a stable career upon graduating: but is that even possible anymore? The United States Census Bureau almost threw me off of my chair with their finding that almost 40 percent of university graduates will be unemployed in the U.S. Knowing that there is even a slight chance that my all-nighters for finals and years of debt still may leave me jobless is terrifying. What makes it even worse is that the 2016 presidential election seems to not acknowledge our millennial crisis: voting is a step but we need to put more effort.
Granted, the candidates do cover controversial issues such as gender and racial equality, immigration, and Obamacare; however, with millennials composing the majority of voters this upcoming election, you would think they would provide solutions for our futures. Unemployment has been an ongoing fear for college students. Generation Opportunity, a nonprofit defending the freedom of young Americans, found that unemployment rates have caused 16.1 percent of 18 to 29 year olds to give up looking for work. I do not know about most people, but being told to work hard and get a quality education for a successful career seems like a false hope.
Sophomore Melinda Sevilla shares her concern with the election as her postgraduate future is rapidly approaching.
“This election can indirectly affect our professional lives following graduation, especially since it isn’t far off,” Sevilla said.
Facing higher university tuitions and student loan debt, the National Center for Education Statistics found that 13.8 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds will be out of work — making the national jobless rate 5.4 percent. An ongoing problem and lack of acknowledgement of our crisis after graduation in the presidential election shows that we need to begin to voice our worries in order for them to be heard.
As a college student myself, getting involved in politics is not something I love to do. The debates and the news are constantly filled with boring speeches and scandals that seem irrelevant. However, knowing that presidential candidates are not focusing on issues that directly impact us college students is terrifying — this is our future at stake.
Sophomore Debby Romero shares her issue with the system set it place.
“This isn’t necessarily the fault of millennials, but rather, the institutional system and its pressures which cause us to prioritize academics over politics in order for us succeed,” Romero said.
The continuing unemployment rate for college students is increasing and yet no attention is being put forth. Taking the initiative to vote in this upcoming election is the first step in becoming politically educated but it should not be the last.
Enacting your freedom of speech, creating a political grass-roots organization, or simply taking time to become knowledgeable about recent political news will help you become more involved.
We should not expect any change or improvement to our futures if only 43 percent of millennials have interest in politics compared to the 65 percent of adults, and soon we are expected to surpass Baby Boomers with 75.3 million people. So, with this, are we going to sit quiet and let our futures be decided for us?