Will You Live the American Dream?

Adam Levin is the former Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and is the founder of and Identity Theft 911. He recently posted on Huffington Post’s Business Blog. He titled his writing, “The New American Dream: It’s Not What You Think.” Mr. Levin cites a recent poll that found that approximately one in four people between the ages of 18 and 24 would describe the “American Dream” as being free of debt. Interestingly, in the past, home ownership was the definition of the American Dream. Historically home ownership has been seen as the pinnacle of stability and success for U.S. Americans. In fact, old laws required that citizens be required to own a home before being allowed to register to vote. The recession, however, has caused young adults to view the ownership of a home as far out of reach. In fact, basic financially stability is the more recent goal.

You can start thinking about financial stability right now. College-aged students are very prone to debt. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that the student loans you take now (or when you enter college) will have to be repaid. The very time that they have to be repaid will be when you are settling into a new environment and have many expenses. I recommend you are very careful to only borrow what you HAVE to have to survive. You can also look for part time employment to help pay your expenses.

Credit card debt is also very common. Credit cards tend to charge exorbitant rates of interest, making the final bill for your purchases significantly higher than actual price. It is good to have access to funds for emergencies, and it is also a good idea to build a credit history. Yet, always make sure you only charge what you can pay at the end of the month.

Deep in Debt: Starting Managing Now includes a variety of resources for debt management, including links to articles on budgeting and financial calculators. Start planning now!! Making good choices now will lead to greater satisfaction later.

About Mikki Sherwood

Mikki has taught in the School of Family & Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University since 1997. She also coordinates the Infant and Child development Laboratories for the university and assists in directing the ABC Program. She has a Masters degree in FCS and a PhD in Early Childhood Education/Child Psychology. Mikki’s primary areas of research are multiculturalism and diversity and human sexuality. She has studied brain development across the lifespan (but with a particular focus on children and adolescents) for many years and has presented and published on a variety of topics related to sexuality, gender issues, multicultural education in primarily white geographical regions, male involvement in the lives of young children, and LGBT issues. Her expertise in brain development during adolescence and emerging adulthood inspire the articles she writes or content she posts on the Career Skillet website.


, , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply


Career Skillet is an online educational resource designed to help students with skills that will help them successfully transition from student to career roles. Please review this Privacy Policy and Disclaimers periodically as we may make changes and updates without prior notice. We will post a date at the bottom of the page, so our audiences can see when the page was most recently updated.

Privacy Policy

We may use information from the Career Skillet site for program improvement or educational purposes (for example, presentations at conferences or publications in journals). Information that we may obtain from the site about you include:

  • -Manage your participation in events, promotions, or research you sign up for on the Career Skillet site.
  • -Analyze trends and statistics regarding visitors’ use of the Career Skillet website (for example, the pages visited, the most popular content, the types of information that our visitors share with others, how long visitors spend on the website, the types of questions visitors ask).
  • -To comply with legal policies and industry standards


To ensure that Career Skillet visitors receive reliable and accurate information, part of our model is to include comments, authored articles, summaries, and other types of content from contributing authors. Career Skillet assumes no responsibility for documents posted by users or contributing authors although we will make every attempt to block or delete offensive material or any information that conflicts with the goals and mission of Career Skillet.

Contributing authors come from various backgrounds and were invited to contribute to the Career Skillet websites because of their expertise. The contributing authors are not responsible for the information posted by other authors.

Career Skillet will link to other websites. These links are provided as a convenience to visitors. Therefore, these links should not be considered an endorsement of the other website, and Career Skillet is not responsible for the content on the third-party websites. Although we are selective and only generally reference articles, infographics, or other materials on third-party websites that we believe is of quality, when you link to third-party websites, you do so at your own risk. If Career Skillet links to information on your website and you would like it removed, or you believe that Career Skillet is violating your website’s copyright policies, we ask that you notify Career Skillet in writing of a copyright infringement click here. If we remove or disable access to content in response to a copyright infringement notice you sent, we will make every attempt to notify you.

If you wish to use the content on the Career Skillet website for another website or online resource of similar nature, we ask that you do not duplicate our original content and that you list the Career Skillet name and provide a direct link back to the Career Skillet website. Please notify us and tell us how you are using our content.

For Questions, comments, or Advertising inquires please submit the following form and we will contact you back as soon as possible.

Your Name: *
E-mail Address: *
Subject: *
Message Details:  

*=required field
[php] include('mathcaptcha.php');[/php]