Creative Jobs to Fulfill Your Artsy Dreams That You Won't Starve For
Real Talk |  Source: marinaskaanes

Creative Jobs to Fulfill Your Artsy Dreams That You Won't Starve For

You can live your dream and make money at the same time.

Ever since I was a child, I fantasized about being an author, a writer, a creator. I wanted to create works of art on paper. But as I grew older, more and more of what I heard was, "You won't make it," "That's not a secure job," "That's a waste of time," "You'll starve with a useless degree in your hand."

To everyone around me, my dream was just that, a dream. But I wouldn't let it go, and neither should you. There are jobs that are creative and fun that still make enough money for you to be both happy and not have to eat hot pockets and ramen for the rest of your life.

Graphic Designers
This job is for all of you that like to sit down, scribble, and color to your heart's content. Not only is this an amazingly fun job, but it's projected to have more than 86,000 new openings in the next few years. This is one degree that won't be useless and have you end up working at Starbucks. Plus, median wages are between $40k and $64k. Score!

This job out of all of these has the most potential. The median wages for any writer is between $30k and $69k, but if you're lucky and become the next J.K. Rowling, you'll be rolling in cash and be able to have all the Starbucks you want. Even better though, the projected amount for openings are above $20,000, so you definitely won't be left starving in the streets while working at JCPenney. Shove that in your distant relative's faces when they try to insult you at Thanksgiving dinner!

Video Game Designer
Do you want to be the creator of something like Call of Duty, Legend of Zelda, or even Minecraft? Seeing your work come to life on thousands, even millions of screens across the world? Well, this job is for all you video game nerds out there. Video game designers median salaries are in the 70k range and their market is projected to grow at least 14 percent. In other words, you could eat steak whenever you want.

Knowing all of these opportunities, drop the stuffy business degree and go tell all your doubting relatives to suck it. Go live your dreams, and be true to yourself and your passions.

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Real Talk |  Source: addie2354

The Curse of Millennials

Student loan debt is a real fucking problem.

FlockU Presents is a new vertical we've launched for longform pieces about topics you care about - everything from sex and body shaming to the history of beer pong to how terrorism affects you as a college student.

It's on all of our minds. It's part of Bernie's campaign. It's breathing down our backs and throttling the frail necks of our wallets. It's student loan debt.

Now, the phrase, "student debt," has been uttered to the point where it's become a buzzword. We talk about it so much that when we try to envision the debt itself we think of enormous piles of cash, or canvas sacks with dollar signs on them. Or Scrooge McDuck's vault.

In reality, student loan debt operates more like that scene in The Road to El Dorado where all those women are throwing gold into a whirlpool, except we students are the women, the gold plates are stacks of cash, and the whirlpool is The GovernmentTM (or something equally nebulous and elusive).

We pay it back and it flows through some shady backrooms with exposed pipes and evil businessmen in pinstriped suits smoking fat cigars, sneering at the meager pennies we're able to give up to make progress on our loans.

Where does it go? Wherever FAFSA tells you, because where the money goes isn't as important as the fact that you have to pay it back, and often. Students are in debt for years. People are still paying loans into their 30s or 40s, depending on the size of the loan/interest/cost of schooling. That's a lot of gold to be tossing into that whirlpool.

So, exactly how much are students expected to pay back? According to The Institute For College Access and Success, (which keeps track of statistics like this to wave in Congress's face to show them how they're inhibiting their own rising generation), in 2014, 69 percent of college seniors graduated with debt. Within that 69 percent, the average amount borrowed is about $30,000. In 2015, according to The Wall Street Journal, this spiked up to more than $35,000. Indeed, the trend since 2004 shows that each successive year of graduates is accruing more and more debt.

Why? Short answer: the economy. Because of inflation, school tuition is going up. But because the economy is still staggering around on spindly little chicken legs, student aid grants coming from places like FAFSA aren't keeping up with the demand. There's too much to pay, and too little to cover it because there's too little to go around. Hence all the "FAFSA gave me fourteen dollars this semester," memes. And the sad thing is, that's not even much of a joke.

I'll put it in perspective. A senior in my department was accepted to the School of Visual Arts in New York. A great school, with a great curriculum, and huge out-of-state tuition. Specifically, $30,000 a year, PLUS room and board, PLUS all the other little things you'd have to pay for, like off-campus dining and the subway. The total after all that's added together? Over $56,000. And financial aid was willing to spot this senior a grand total of $10,000.

That much money is a lot to ask of anyone, not even looking at the fact that the $10,000 aid probably comes with a lot of stipulations, such as remaining a full-time student. (Read the fine print so you don't accidentally screw yourself). There's also the small fact that it has to be paid back at some point. So if you're taking, at minimum, a $10,000 loan (which is pretty generous, by the way,) every year for four years, you've got a five-figure sum plus interest you're paying back.

If you go Super Senior, then it gets worse because credit prices get jacked up for part-time students. You can actually end up paying more for ten credits than you would've paid for fifteen.

I suppose it could be worse. This person could have wanted to go to medical school and incur up to $170,000 in student debt, which is mind boggling. Just imagine someone putting a gun to your head and saying you had ten years to pay back $170,000. Would you cry? Because I'd cry.

So let's talk about that, paying it back. We all have to, eventually, and to pay it back you need the money to do so. And to get that money you need a job. And to get a job there need to be: A) job openings, and B) job openings that do not expect grads with degrees to work fifty hours a week for less than $10 an hour.

And as much as our parents tell us to, "pound the pavement and knock on some doors," like it's still 1976 and that's a thing that people can still do, it's becoming more and more difficult to find a job out of college that actually utilizes our degree and pays moderately well.

Here's another story, this time from a member of the class of 2014. It was their first summer out of college and they had that debt to pay off, so they decided to get a job immediately to get a jump on those payments. Problem is, most employers want an inordinate amount of experience for entry level jobs; "2 years prior experience in serving tables," is a real thing I have read. So here they are, fresh out of college with a degree and a resume, and they end up pulling a customer service gig for the first eight months until they get their break.

And that's what we all need to get the ball rolling on those payments; we need that one job that gets us in the door. For some people, (the ones blessed by angels), that job is right out of the graduation gate. For others, it's a few months later, and for others still it can take years to find something that sticks.

This doesn't even count the people that don't graduate and still have loans to pay back, a section of the student debt crisis that goes largely unnoticed. Imagine the problems listed above and having to solve them without a bachelor's degree.

There is one bright spot in all of this, however, and while it doesn't solve the problem, it does lessen it. Again according to The Wall Street Journal, graduates who are landing those big-break jobs are making pretty good salaries. An average of $50,000 a year kind of good. And while no student-loan debt is better than manageable student-loan debt, at this point, in this economy, with the amount of stress our generation is under?

Let's take what we can fucking get, honestly.

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The Truth About Being a Model

It's not all glitz and glamour.

Modeling seems glamorous and exciting and fun, and it is sometimes, but there's more to it. I modeled for four years of my life and eventually gave it up because pancakes are *really* good, but I learned a lot about models along the way.

They're not (all) rich.
Models don't always make a ton of money. A couple are super successful, but the average model finishes her career without significant amounts of money in the bank, and many find it hard to make rent. The average annual salary of a model is $26,000. It's not much more than someone making minimum wage working a 40-hour work week.

Their schedules are crazy.
Schedules are sporadic and crazy, and it's never clear when a job will come up. Notice can be minimal, and models are expected to drop everything and go. Not only that, but once on the job, the hours can can be very long.

They starve.
It's a thing. It doesn't have to be and it shouldn't be, but so often, it is. Two thirds of models are told to lose weight, and they often do so in unhealthy ways.

Their mental health suffers.
Up to 70 percent of models suffer from anxiety or depression.

They can be super smart.
Models aren't stupid. In fact, many go to great schools. They can be unintelligent, just like any other random human being, but they don't have to be. It's a very annoying assumption people make.

They're not even pretty.
I'm just kidding. Models are gorgeous. They're not the stereotypical beautiful image they're made out to be without the hair, makeup, and airbrushing though, and that's important to note. In many cases, they look just like any other girl.

They can't get every role.
It's all about the role, and the specifications for a certain position are usually very specific. For a Victoria's Secret Angel, the height requirement is exactly 5-foot-9, and the size requirements are 34-24-34. Some people, no matter what they do, just won't make the cut, and it's hard to accept that there's nothing one can do about it.

They get scammed.
So many young girls dream of modeling that they easily give up to thousands of dollars to go to so-called modeling schools or join so called agencies with promises of making it big. Unsurprisingly, many are illegitimate and the jobs never come.

They often deal with abuse.

Especially because models can be so young and are in a position of less power than their employers, they often face abuse of all kinds in the adult world of sex, drugs, and alcohol. About 30 percent of models have been inappropriately touched at work and 28 percent have been pressured to have sex.

People make modeling out to be glamorous, and seeing the results at the end of the job definitely can be, but getting there often isn't. It's important to know what you're getting into if you decide to pursue modeling.

If you or someone you know is dealing with an eating disorder, there are resources that can help.

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Real Talk | 

8 Side Hustles for College Students

Everyday I'm hustlin'...

College is expensive as hell, and part-time jobs are where dreams go to die. Scholarships only cover so much, and your pizza habit is expensive to maintain. It pays to get creative. Here's some side hustle ideas to get you started.

Become a tutor. If you know your stuff and you're a decent writer, odds are you can tutor some of your less fortunate classmates. Charge by the hour or set a flat fee for your services. Offer to make dorm visits or meet at a coffee shop. Your school might even have some of these positions available on-campus, so that's a great place to start.

Start a blog. Blogging freed me from having to work two part-time jobs while in school. It's really easy to start a blog of your own, and you can rant about whatever you want! If you generate enough traffic, you can make some cash selling ad space and promoting products.

Become Insta/Twitter famous. Did you know getting a ton of likes can actually pay? If you have over 1,000 followers, you're probably eligible for some product promotion! Check out platforms like Izea and Adly, which connect social media accounts to companies.

Sell on Etsy. Are you a DIY prodigy? Set up a store on Etsy, invest in a little bit of advertising, and watch your bank account soar.

Write for money. Freelance writing can be really profitable nowadays. Companies and blogs are looking for millennials who are passionate about writing and can connect to a young audience. Put together a portfolio and check out job boards on places like ProBloggers to find openings. Or write for FlockU.

Rent a room. Do you live in an apartment with some extra space? Rent out a room on AirBnB where you can set your own conditions and prices. Just don't be like this guy.

Self publish. If you've got the dedication to write your own book, you can probably make some cash off of it. Amazon allows you to self publish your own work. Some works are more popular than others (think 50 Shades of Grey). Self help, teen fiction, and erotica are popular genres for Amazon readers. (Dinosaur erotica, anyone?)

Become a virtual assistant. If you're passionate about social media, this is a dream come true. A lot of online companies hire remote virtual assistants to schedule their social media; and they usually pay on an hourly basis.

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Real Talk |  Source: @thegoldenmonoclenyc

Affordable Vacays for the Broke College Student

You want to see the world, but you're broke.

You're young, discovering new things, finding yourself, and wanderlust is pumping through every vein in your body. Your heart is screaming for you to see the world but your wallet is screaming that you're too broke for any trip besides one to McDonalds - and maybe not even that.

But what if there were cheap international trips you could actually afford? Well, your wish has come true. Here's a list of the top most affordable vacays for you and your friends so you can fulfill your dreams and see the world, all while you're still young.

Machu Picchu, Peru

We've all heard of Machu Picchu, but I bet you thought you could never go there because it would be way too expensive. Well, you're wrong. Not only wrong, but hella wrong. This hiker's delight of the Inca Ruins are not only affordable, but stunning. The flight to Peru will be the most expensive, but after that, you're golden.

Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the most breathtaking countries, and the food and accommodations in Auckland are some of the cheapest around.There are beaches, hiking trails, cycling trails, markets, tours, regional parks, and even islands surrounding it you can go and explore. It's a travelers dream - cheap and fulfilling.

Madrid, Spain

Believe it or not, flying over and exploring Madrid isn't that expensive, especially compared to some of the European flights and hotels. The best - and cheapest - months to wander over there are September, October, April, and May, which line up perfectly with some of our time off. Fate, much?

Crete, Greece

Greece is among some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful places on this Earth. It's cool, clear waters and beaches are to die for. Greece is a great deal, and you can always take a ferry to the more tourist-y spots like Santorini.

Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand is full of rich culture, great food, and cheap rooms (some as low as just $20 a night). Flights are inexpensive and you can stay for a week or more considering how cheap everything is.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali is hugely popular, and for good reason. It's inexpensive, beautiful, and has some of the best coffee you will ever drink in your entire life. Fly over in April, May, September or October for a memorable stay and an even cheaper flight.

So if you're looking for a new place to travel to without having to starve while you save, try any of these six destinations and you won't be disappointed. Plus, you'll definitely have stories to take back to your roommates.

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Real Talk |  Source: @merunka

Working as a Caretaker in College

Are "Do Good" jobs worth the stress?

If you're like me, finding purpose in life gives you a reason to get the day started. I mean, you crave it like nothing else, besides that one burrito from the little hole in the wall restaurant near campus.

You don't want to work at retail chains, Starbucks, or anywhere else. You've tried those and they're not for you. But, finding a job that means something isn't easy, and usually the pay is crap.

But, I found one. I work for a company called My Life Foundation that works with mentally ill and disabled people--whether mentally or physically handicapped, we are their caretakers. I was thrilled, and terrified.

College takes over your life, classes are stressful, class work comes in boatloads, and you barely have a social life most days if you're trying to make it out of college before you're freaking 30. But when you need a job, you'll take anything, and when you find something that isn't retail or Starbucks and may just be a little fulfilling, you pounce, just like I did.

I wanted to do good, and for the first week I felt like I was. I loved my job, and don't get me wrong, I still do. But this job, any do-good job, is hard. It's draining.

All of my shifts are eight hours, and sometimes this job drives me over the edge. I still love it, I still feel like I'm making a difference and giving my time for a greater purpose--I mean, I am helping people live. But, is the stress worth it? Is the lack of sleep, the sore, tired muscles, the sometimes disgusting instances, and annoyances worth it all?

I say yes. Trust me, you'll be tired, you'll even hate it at times, but when your shift is over and you go home and you think about it you've made a difference in someone's life--no matter how small.

I could tell some horror stories about my work--like how sometimes clients get naked and you have to order them to dress themselves, how sometimes you have to stand outside the shower or even help them in the shower, how you may need to clean up after a full grown adult that is 10 years your elder, or how frustrating it is to simultaneously want to help someone when they refuse to cooperate sometimes. Some days I come home ranting, but others, others I'm filled with joy.

If you're lucky enough to find a job that speaks to you in any way, that has decent pay, but more importantly, makes you feel like you are helping, do it. And do it with passion. Otherwise, you'll end up at some dead end job, miserable while you try to pay for college.

Yes, these jobs pay for our dreams, but wouldn't you rather have something more meaningful, even in the slightest? I'm giving these people as normal a life as they can, teaching them how to take care of themselves, and just be happy. And if that isn't worth the craziness, I don't know what is.