Your Abuela Invented The Hustle But Young Latinos Are Remaking It For A New Generation
Conyó, mein, the hustle is so real for our generation. Just as real is social media culture and presenting an Internet version of ourselves to everyone else’s Internet self. While we’re not trying to glamorize selling our plasma eight times a month (that hustle is real), we are excellent at making surviving look like thriving.
By no means did we invent the hustle. Our abuelos were smuggling in homemade food to the movie theaters long before the 2008 recession as a point of pride. We’ve grown up judging the bobos around us carrying designer bags when the knock offs are just as good. Our family has been hustling for so long to give us a better life, but this isn’t what they had in mind.
Our generation’s version of what’s a socially acceptable way to thrive is either a point of pride or shame for our parents, with no in between.
According to a Pew Research study, half of millennials have a side hustle. Given that we grew up coding for our Myspace and Neopets’ pages, that tech-savvy instinct is helping us make extra money on the side in building websites, web design, blog writing and more.
Some of us are freelancing full time and the padres are still asking us, years later, if we’ve found a job yet. “Yes?” We’ve made our home offices look Instagram sterile, but the reality is we’re working from our couches in our piyamas.
While Latinos grew up wearing their prima’s hand-me-down’s, the rest of Millennials are valuing a solid thrift find higher than dropping $1k on a Kanye West ripped up white camiseta. While our parents hoped we’d grow up one day to buy business suits and new clothes, we’re learning to hem and repair thrift finds because we’re resourceful like that. We have no shame and only gains when it comes to thrifting.
Y’all, some of us are technically homeless and loving it. When viejos tell us to just put half our income in savings, we’re like, “que que?” Rising rent costs has most of us giving up half our income to rent, making it near impossible to save up for practical things (like homes) or even a vacation.
Instagram angel Nature Chola combines the two with #FakeVanLife. Since we’re too broke for hotel rooms, she’s just added a foam mattress to the trunk of her SUV and gets those ocean views for the cost of the gas to get you there. Would our abuelos think this glamorous? Probably not, but this dream is attainable for our generation and we’re here for it.
In a similar vein, we’re not affording international vacations or even weekend getaways. I picked up camping as a hobby because it costs $6 a night and was the cheapest way to get out of the city and get some R&R in. Are my parents horrified? Yes. Do I care? Absolutamente not.
5. Dog Sitting
We can’t afford that gorgeous Frenchie of our dreams so we’re dog sitting instead and featuring them on the feed. The ideal pet sitting gig is one that gets you out of your apartment with three roommates and into a house with real live A/C. Dog sitting is mostly poop scooping and wiping slobber off casi todo, but that photogenic face deserves all the limelight. Plus, we get the puppy cuddles we wish we could afford all to ourselves.
Have any of us sold our eggs to buy a motorcycle? Maybe. Millennials are delaying car ownership as we try to pay off student debt. Motorcycles, on the other hand, cost just a few thousand dollars to own y ya. #ProudParents
7. Potlucks in the Park
Try to organize any kind of gathering at a restaurant and it’s going to suck. Splitting bills can be anxiety-provoking and nobody wants to save money by eating a salad. Thankfully, the “potluck” is just how Latinos normally eat, and we’ve got it down right. The aerial food photography aesthetic, not so much.
8. Cafecito en la casa
While it might be a nice treat to take abuela to Starguacs, we are absolutely not paying for someone else to make our coffee. Plus Café Bustelo has a stellar aesthetic. ????
9. Protesting for Equal Rights
We are insanely busy hustling and trying to survive in this economy. That’s why we make time to protest to demand a $15 minimum wage, freedom from sexual harassment in the workplace, free college and healthcare for all.
Beneath all the glamour, we’re tired of having to hustle this hard to live #debtfree and move up in the world. So we protest, we fight for our futures, and we still look good doing it.
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