I think the obvious first answer to this question is that we face a completely different economy and job market than any other generation has faced. Silva discusses the “remaking of the working-class adulthood” and that, to me, is the most unique condition. Silva is getting at the idea that there used to be a space in between college and “adulthood” or even simply during college, that students would use to transition into the working class and leave their identity of student behind; however, that is no longer the case. The job market is incredibly unstable and hostile. It has become increasingly difficult to take a year off or to make the transition to adulthood as the amount of jobs that students can get directly out of college dwindles. Silva says that our generation, and generations before us, no longer looks like the “iconic steel mill worker” (Silva). We, as a generation, are re-defining the working class and reinventing the working class, which is completely unique because we’re one of the first generations to no longer have an economy that can comfortably support us or accept us. Jobs are becoming more scarce, minimum wage is barely rising, and all markets are becoming ridiculously competitive. While other generations have been afforded the time to come of age, we’re being pushed into it and there’s nothing to catch us.
Internships are seen as a way for us to integrate into the workforce but it’s not a realistic method because internships are highly competitive and often times do not even give a salary. The job market demands experience but people can’t afford to get experience, which is again unique to our generation. Before, if you knew something who knew someone, they could likely get you a job. That scenario is quickly becoming extinct. We need the experience that internships give us, but we are unable to support ourselves through those internships so then we’re expected to take on internships during college while also juggling a full course load. The scenario becomes more and more complex and less and less satisfying. These elements, and so many more, are both unique and disheartening to our generation.