How are we supposed to live?

The cycle of poverty is a college graduate problem.

Cycle of poverty is a term thrown around a lot. It generally refers to the concept of not being able to get out of poverty due to a lack of resources and connections brought about by poverty itself and can often refer to multiple generations of a family.

An easy way to think about the concept is by thinking of homelessness.

If an individual is homeless, there is usually some level of financial insecurity associated with that status. In order for a homeless individual to acquire employment and thus financial stability, he or she would have to apply for some jobs.

The individual’s chances of being hired are significantly decreased due to factors out of their control such as not having appropriate interview attire, access to running water or even an address to fill out the application with or a telephone number to get a call back. Therefore, unless something changes, the cycle of poverty is going to continue in that individual’s life.

In the context of college graduates, it’s about more than the lack of resources afforded to those on the lower end of the economic spectrum, though that lack of resources does come in to play in some cases, and this in no way is meant to minimize the struggle of families who have suffered generations of poverty.

If you are from a lower middle class family and trying to make something of yourself it can often seem as if the world is against you. Students are constantly told they need to go to college if they want a good-paying job, so they apply to college.

However, in order to afford college, they’re going to need financial aid. Granted if you apply yourself enough and show enough financial need, grants and scholarships are available. For the majority of students, though, college means debt.

So, once you’ve graduated with all of that debt, you think you are going to go right out into the world and score that good-paying job and start you career.

More likely scenario is that you are going to apply for a lot of jobs and be under-qualified because you don’t have experience, despite your years of schooling.

If you’re lucky, you might score a paid internship, but those wages are probably going to be comparable to minimum wage and an unpaid internship is more likely.

Another probably scenario is that you entered a field in which you need a higher degree to actually do anything, so you apply to graduate school and keep adding to your debt for another four to six years.

In the meantime, you still have to pay your rent and your bills on your minimal part-time job salary, and the rest of the world could care less because, hey, you chose to go to college even though you couldn’t afford it.