Kids today have to constantly consider the perils of work and career with enough specificity to worry about it. At the same time that they stress about the future that's so very far off, they live with technology that keeps that anxiety consistently in the front of their minds.

... I rarely heard them frame any of this work and stress in terms of future success or even just stability. They usually didn't talk about their lives according to the myth so many parents, teachers, and community members raised Gen X and millennials with, the one that promises that if you work hard, you'll get a good job and have a nice, stable life or at least do better than your parents did. When they brought up their futures, if they weren't talking about careers, they understood that student debt was inevitable.

It later dawned on me: Why would they believe this myth? People in their 20s, 30s, and 40s teach and raise these kids. Those generations now know from experience that the idea that hard work and a little luck pays off isn't true. Between 30 years of stagnant wages, the rising costs of housing, health care, and education, and a recession just as many of us graduated from college, it's no wonder that millennials are on course to do financially worse than previous generations, just as Gen X did before us.

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