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Soon-to-be college graduate gets real about boomers...

Soon-to-be college graduate gets real about boomers ‘projecting their lived experiences from 1980’ onto her: ‘it’s like they don’t know what inflation is’


Neia Balao

Tue, March 28, 2023 at 3:55 PM EDT


One student who is nearing her college graduation recently took to TikTok to share her grievances with people “projecting their lived experiences from 1980” onto her.

Cat (@.catmorning) is a 21-year-old college student on the cusp of graduating. Per her latest TikTok, many of the conversations she’s been having with her parents are about her future, and what that looks like.




“I’m about to graduate in May,” she begins. “A lot of the conversations I’ve been having with my parents lately have been surrounding what I’m gonna do when I graduate, where I’m gonna go. So, my mom works for a company that’s just, like, huge, and she said something to me yesterday that makes a lot of sense in regards to why it’s so hard to find a job, or even to find a salary that would be livable right now as someone who’s fresh out of college.”


People in charge of hiring at big companies, like the one Cat’s mom works at, tend to make comments about how “college grads expect way too much” these days.

According to Cat, her mom revealed how “little” she made right out of college.

“Then she says, ‘Yeah, when I first started, I made $36,000.’ And I was like, ‘$36,000 today or $36,000 in 1980?’ So, she made $36,000 starting off, entry level bank teller, 1980,” Cat explains.


“So, this sentiment being held by boomers of, ‘Oh, well, they’re just expecting too much…’ I just don’t think they know what numbers they’re talking about.”


Cat explains that, ideally, she wants to make $24/hour, which would put her at $50,000 annually. This salary, per Cat’s research, is equivalent to making $16,500 annually in 1982. Cat also claims that the average college graduate in 2022 is making about $55,260 a year, while the average college graduate in 1982 made $33,700, which is about $102,000 today “right out of college.”

“So, today’s $26.50/hour is 1982’s $49.00/hour,” she adds.


With these numbers in mind, Cat challenges a sentiment commonly held by boomers.

“So, this sentiment being held by boomers of, ‘Oh, well, they’re just expecting too much…’ I just don’t think they know what numbers they’re talking about,” Cat says. “Like, I think in their head, they’re like, ‘Oh, I made $36,000 in 1980, and you’re asking for $50,000 now?'”


“So true, they never incorporate inflation when they talk about wages!! Plus way fewer people went to college then so they could demand higher pay”


Cat, who also conducted similar research when comparing the selling price of a single-family house in 2022 versus 1980, has garnered praise for her video, which currently has more than 1.5 million views and 357,400 likes.

“Wages aren’t keeping up with inflation and it’s infuriating,” one user wrote.

“we literally can’t compete with the elder generation,” another replied. “we are stuck in the 90s in their head.”

“So true, they never incorporate inflation when they talk about wages!! Plus way fewer people went to college then so they could demand higher payer,” someone commented.


“Regardless your major, regardless if you chose to go to college or not, you deserve to live comfortably.”


Cat believes that boomers are just unable to “conceptualize” just how disparate these numbers are. Cat also asserts that everyone deserves to make livable wages — regardless of their specializations.

“I think that if you go to college, you deserve to be able to make enough to live comfortably,” she asserts. “I think if you don’t go to college you should be able to make enough to live comfortably.”

“Regardless your major, regardless if you chose to go to college or not, you deserve to live comfortably,” she adds.


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