Portraits of debt-buried, underemployed graduates living with their parents

3033726-inline-robertellisfinalhirez What was once shameful is now normality: the stories of those who must return to "the childhood delights of family dinners and curfews", photographed by Damon Cesarez.

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  1. I was paying student loans and child support and living in all sorts of awful rented rooms. There are alternatives to living with your folks if you don't mind the atmosphere of living in a half-way house where people won't take their meds. It's a learning experience, believe me. But you do need to be in good enough physical condition to intimidate the occasional crack head.

  2. It's not just one way - my in-laws will be coming to live with us in the next few months as they won't be able to live on their pension once they stop working full-time. Actually, it isn't necessarily such a bad thing to be living with extended family - plenty of people around the world do it as a matter of course without feeling that they've failed in life. Graduate debt is another thing and I can see that this is one aspect of a wider story, but there's a 'living in your mom's basement' stigma that isn't necessarily helpful.

    Edit to add: most of these people aren't actually unemployed at all and some have jobs that are directly related to their studies and future ambitions. Perhaps they haven't had as much success as they'd like and the debt is certainly holding them back, but the situation isn't necessarily as grim as the heading suggests.

  3. Yeah; it's a trend that started in the 90s and has only gotten worse as tuitions continue to rise.

    I saw that story on Fark about the family who owes $200k on their dead daughter's college loans, and other than the genuine callousness of the Fark crowd, the thing that strikes me is that you can end up spending $75k-$100k to get a degree to be qualified for a $50k/year job. And it's a job that's in demand! That's beyond messed up.

  4. It wasn't that she spent $200k on an education; she got a $100k loan, and with interest it has ballooned to $200k.

    Her dad cosigned, apparently lacking the foresight to know that she would die of liver disease and that he, out of compassion, would choose to raise her kids.

    I "get" the parts where she might have been able to get a cheaper education and that the dad should have taken out insurance against her, but...y'know...I don't understand how we've come to the point as a society where we see a situation like that, and say, "Sucks to be you but you were stupid."

  5. And break the family/friends ties. No more frequent visits, no more shared social activities, a completely new crowd to build and then scratch it all and start again when new move has to be done.

    And then the economists and their ilk carp and carp about "mobile workforce" like it is some good thing, and completely neglect the nonmonetary, social costs...

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