Predators at every turn

People love to exploit broke college students

I’ll be frank: I am sick and tired of people pressuring and exploiting college-age adults just because they can. As soon as we graduate and get the alumni sweatshirts to prove it, colleges are holding their hands out, asking for money like we didn’t just sell our souls to pay for their services in the first place. 

In addition, college students everywhere are being exploited when they get unpaid internships, because they do work that should be given to entry-level employees. 

What can we do though? Most majors require internships to graduate and paid internships exist like puzzles in the classifieds section—you can find them but it’s an exhausting process. 

Employers often appear to disregard Labor Department rules concerning unpaid interns. Is it still considered a “win-win” situation if students learn valuable skills even though they are unpaid and spend considerable time and money to do it? Is it fair when supply and demand keeps students stuck in the loop? 

I see people in my mind’s eye complaining about millennials and the job market but you know what? We work extremely hard for what we have. I was lucky to get the internship I have but friends of mine haven’t been so fortunate and I’ve seen them struggle. Some businesses aren’t being malicious when they offer internships for no pay but others are exploitative and know exactly what they’re doing. 

People in our generation are adrift with crippling debt, expensive rent and crushing expectations. We know that no one is going to save us, so we make do with what we have. 

We aren’t killing our retirement funds by eating avocado toast! A hard day’s work demands a fair wage and the disappointing thing is, if we stick to our guns and don’t take the unpaid internship, then someone else will just swoop in and take it instead. 

From alumni donations to internships, no wonder 20-somethings have abysmal sleep schedules. Now let’s sink our teeth into another predatory villain hiding behind flowery words and big promises: student loans. 

Interest rates on student loans vary considerably. Being aware of how your student loan operates is crucial in avoiding exorbitant rates once you finish school. The devil is in the details, and the fine print locks students into parasitic relationships that bleed them dry. If you can’t pay your loans back, then kiss your credit score goodbye and any chances of buying a house in the future. 

Student loan debt delays other life decisions and that can weigh heavier than anything Atlas had to deal with. Student loan debt is different from other types of debt in that it doesn’t simply go away if you can’t pay. Even if you die, private student loans can come back to haunt your loved ones. 

I am bone-tired of people seeing college students and recent grads as people to exploit and profit from. I know our generation can survive but it isn’t fair that we have to struggle for everything we have in the way we do.

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