Music, Writing, and Art in the Age of the Optional Purchase


In the summer of 2010, when I started my first job, I listened to about six hours of Pandora a day. The ads were an annoyance, but I sat through them because I loved the songs that Pandora found for me.

I knew that there was such a thing as “Pandora One,” but, like most millennials, I scorned the idea of paying for something I knew I could get for free.

Yet Pandora persisted. Hours and hours a day, it brought me amazing bands I never would have otherwise heard.

A few months in, I took the $32-a-month plunge. And I’ve never looked back.

Why did I buy something that was so optional? More importantly, how can any creative person ever hope to get compensated in the age of the optional purchase?

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10 Ways to Not Get Screwed as a Liberal Arts Major

Ah, spring. Out on the quad, Frisbees are flying again. Awkward small talk about classes can happen outside, instead of in the dining hall. And, all across campus, tens of thousands of panicked seniors will be hunched over computers, scouring Craigslist for job openings.

Unpaid internships may seem more appealing by the day. Likewise, living at home can be rationalized very quickly, if your parents are anything like the majority of baby boomers.

This is a post for any college grad who can get a job, but is telling themselves that they can’t. Because, above all, you don’t want to become one of the millennials who self-pities themselves into immobility, the ones who have memorized the pie charts from New York Times articles like this one, and simply resign themselves to hopelessness.

Yes, it’s bad out there for college grads, but we’re far from the ones who are most screwed by this economy. After all, we have college degrees… We just have to find out how to use them.

Here are 10 things that can help you find a job, or at least keep you on some semblance of a path, so you can come out of the recession in one piece: Continue reading