You. Are. Awesome. I am 24 years old, working 40 hours a week on a 32k salary in a very expensive area. My husband and I stretch pennies every month but somehow we make it work. It makes me sad and disgusted to see so many people in my generation camping out for weeks at a time over something that they can't even articulate when asked. It must be nice to have weeks of time on your hands to camp out in a public park. I worked hard for my college degree and graduated debt free mostly due to hefty scholarships that I EARNED through hard work. I may have a college degree but I have spent 3 years doing a job not in any way related to the career field I studied for. It may not be what I love but it pays the bills and that is more than a lot of people have these days. I feel blessed to be able to put food on our table and clothes on our backs even if they aren't name brand or high price. Some of the OWS protesters claiming to be "disadvantaged" have nicer clothing and phones than we do! Our life isn't glamorous, but my husband and I have never taken a handout and we are proud of that. We use credit cards as little as possible and we drive old cars with manual locks and windows (if you can even imagine they make those anymore!) so that we can afford to save as much as possible for what is shaping up to be a long economic downturn. Living like we do is definitely the hard way. The easy way out is to expect everything to be handed to you on the shaky basis of "entitlement" like the OWS protesters want. The hard way is to make the living on your own, seize a higher goal and work as hard as you can toward it. EARN it of your own volition and efforts and it will mean that much more to you when you achieve it.
You are on your way in this world and your parents have equipped you with excellent values and ambitions. Don't let these lame liberal cry babies get to you (although I am sure you spend more time laughing at them than anything else!). You are going to grow up to be a fantastic self-starting young woman and I hope we hear more from you in the future.
Keep it up!!!
-Newlywed in VA