The silver lining in a dark cloud

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Despite facing a tough job market, Generation Y is typically better educated about debt and credit than previous generations. That’s a good thing!

Recession! Car Plant Cuts 200 Jobs! Families Flee Homes in the Night to Avoid Paying Their Mortgages!

Let’s face it – depressing headlines are sprouting up all over the place.

It’s enough to make recent grads wonder why they ate copious amounts of KD, lived in not-so-glamorous dwellings and avoided Facebook Chat to study. All of these sacrifices were made in order to graduate and get a great job.

Chin up friends – although we find ourselves in a dark cloud, we can use this opportunity to avoid making the same mistakes as our predecessors.

This is the silver lining:

Those of us known as Gen Y leave school with big dreams, debt and a night or two we’d like to forget. Turns out, the world is still at our fingertips.

Maybe the employment opportunities we were promised when we first started post-secondary school four years ago are more difficult to capture now because things have changed. The instability of the economic markets has employers feeling skittish toward hiring any new employees.

We join every generation in experiencing tough times, but at least we can find comfort in the fact that we have not yet incurred the level of debt as many members of Generation X.

We have witnessed this headache early in our careers.

Let’s vow to be a smarter and more responsible generation. One that will not value credit, that imaginary number someone has made up in order to charge interest on phantom assets. And one that will be prepared for fluctuations in the financial powerhouse that is Bay Street or Wall Street.

And the next time you read a depressing headline or hear a nay-sayer at your local Swiss Chalet discussing this “horrible economic time” and hang your head in misery, just be glad your cell phone bill and interest payment on student loans are your only liabilities. It could be worse, a lot worse.

While we are not immune to problems that may arise in the future, we must take this opportunity to build our own financial stability by articulate financial planning and money management without biting off more than we can chew.

“Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.”

Let’s not be fools.

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About the author

Jes Dean is a recent graduate of the business management and recreation programs at Dalhousie University. One day, she would like to have her own niche resort.