In a nutshell, this girl wasted thousands of dollars on a useless degree (philosophy) and doesn't have the intelligence to ask her parents or look on the internet how to fill out a W-4 or start a Roth IRA. Below is a summary of everything that is wrong with the article published. (Note: Because this was submitted to Newsweek for publication, the tone in it is rather civil. A normal posting on here would have been much more sarcastic and harsh).
I have to say that I feel no sympathy whatsoever for Caitlin Petre and her whining diatribe ("My Turn", 11/13/06) about how she didn't learn anything useful in college. For starters, she was the one that chose a completely useless major (not my words, but the words of one of my high friend's dad's who majored in Philosophy), rather than taking a finance class where she could have learned what a Roth IRA was and how to fill out a W-4 or an intro computers class where she could have learned how to use a spreadsheet program. Second, its quite sad that people who attend prestigious universities and apparently do quite well academically, don't have the common sense to be able to figure out a W-4 form by reading it, the courage to ask their boss how to properly fill it out, the intuition to ask their parents about the form or a Roth IRA, or the creativity to do a little research on the internet regarding those topics. Thirdly, how truly spoiled this girl (and many others today) are became very obvious when she claimed "I couldn't imagine myself in an entry-level administrative position staring at a spreadsheet for eight hours a day.." There are people all over this country who would kill to have an entry level administrative position as a steady job with full benefits. Yet, apparently, she would feel too bored and thus, the job isn't for her. Finally, she asks, "when I spent a ton of time and money on my fancy degree, what exactly was I buying? The ability to think, some might say. OK, fine, that's important." Maybe for others, but not for herself. If she did actually buy/earn the ability to think, then she might have been able to use that ability to think of where to ask or find out information regarding W-4's, Roth IRA's, or spreadsheets (boss, fellow employees, parents, internet). It's very sad that overprivileged spoiled kids are spending 4 years and many thousands of dollars of their parents money only memorizing and repeating what is taught to them in class and still can not figure out how to learn about a new topic or idea when they come across it.