In an exceptionally passionate video, 51-year-old Alabama resident Jessica McCabe has discussed the relatable struggles that her children are facing in today’s society.
The 3-minute video, posted to her TikTok account @that1crazy72, rapidly garnered widespread attention across the digital landscape. It insightfully delves into the mounting challenges confronting young adults.
The heartfelt message captivated an astonishing 10 million viewers, clearly resonating deeply with a vast audience spanning generations.
Redefining Success: The Notion of ‘Work Hard to Achieve’ No Longer Applies
McCabe, a US Air Force veteran, commenced her video by describing the deep-seated “helplessness” she feels as a caring mother.
She explained how she consistently instilled in her children the unwavering belief that dedication, hard work, and unyielding determination would inevitably earn positive outcomes. Simply put, if they work hard, they’ll be able to achieve success in life.
After all, this is how it worked for her generation.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for Gen Z, she said.
Helpless Parents of Adult Gen Zs
She relayed feeling deeply disheartened to see her children struggling and grappling with numerous barriers despite doing everything they were told to do.
It wasn’t that her kids weren’t working hard; they were. However, from her perspective, these financial and societal barriers appeared nearly insurmountable.
The Financial Struggles of Modern Youth
One particularly unsettling segment of the video highlights her 28-year-old son’s tumultuous post-college journey.
Despite his diligent efforts to obtain a degree and then secure a well-paying job, he found himself frustratingly tangled in daunting financial challenges.
Consequently, he was unable to move out of the family home.
Even though he saved almost all of his earnings, he still could not afford his own place even ten months later.
“Why are one-bedroom studio apartments almost $2,000 a month?” McCabe asked in her video.
Housing Market and the American Dream
Her candid questions starkly emphasize the dire, problematic state of the modern housing market, which seems to defy logic and compassion.
In a parallel, equally compelling narrative, her 25-year-old daughter’s homeownership aspirations also seem like a distant dream.
The young woman saved assiduously by working grueling, exhaustive hours, only to be unexpectedly blindsided by her mortgage company’s additional financial demands.
“And then her mortgage company, after she’d already moved in, said, ‘Oh, by the way, we forgot to tell you that you need this type of coverage. We forgot at the beginning. That’s an extra $200.'” Her mom explained.
McCabe also explained that as a result, her daughter’s outgoings have doubled, even though her loan amount remains the same.
Car Insurance and Health Insurance
McCabe continued her story, turning to the failings of the insurance system.
She had told her son, “Hey, when you turn 25, at least your car insurance will go down.”
That’s what she expected would happen. However, the opposite of what she expected happened.
“Hell no. He turned 25, and his car insurance went up $150,” she said.
Her son had a good job that offered him health insurance, but even that turned out to be useless when he needed to use it.
“He had to go to the emergency room because he couldn’t get anybody to see him with the health insurance that he has,” she explained. “Now, he’s out money for that, too. It seems like you can never get ahead.”
Echoes from Other Gen Z’s
The video’s overflowing comments section vividly serves as a testament to the broader societal concerns McCabe astutely highlights.
Many young viewers appreciated her heartfelt attempt to acknowledge and highlight the insurmountable challenges that their generation is facing.
One user wrote, “I’m 25. Back at home with parents. Thank you for understanding this. I’m so tired of feeling like the older generation refuses to believe us.”
And another, who commented, “At least you’re better than my mom that lives in fantasy land and says ‘I don’t care. Figure it out.'”
They finally felt seen.
Parents in the Same Boat as McCabe
More empathetic parents identified with McCabe’s concerns. Many shared their similarly harrowing experiences.
One parent commented, “We have an 18,16,14 yr old. And I’m so scared for them. The only thing I can think of is generational living. Buy land. Tiny homes?”
Another comment astutely likened the current financial imbalance to a high-stakes Monopoly game, highlighting the concentration of wealth in fewer hands.
McCabe’s Concerns Beyond the Video
When approached for further in-depth insights, McCabe earnestly conveyed her growing anxieties about her children’s uncertain future.
For one, they had aged out of her protective health insurance.
She admitted that she understood the evolving dynamics of the economy and how inflation has increased but was still shocked by the disparity. While living costs have increased, wage increments have been almost stagnant.
Demanding Systemic Change
Concluding her powerful narrative, McCabe passionately appealed for sweeping systemic changes.
She boldly highlighted the pressing need for political representatives who genuinely resonate with the real-life plights of working-class Americans.
She wrote that it was “no wonder there is a mental health crisis among the younger generation.”
“We need term limits and age limits!” she said, hoping these would eventually pave the way for actionable, equitable reforms for the benefit of future generations.
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This article was produced by TPR Teaching.
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.