How does it feel to be young in this struggling economy?

For the average twenty-something, it means feeling overqualified, underemployed, and overwhelmed. Stuck. Kat and Sam are two young people for whom the economic and psychological challenges of a generation have taken a very personal toll. Explore their lives. Follow the stories of their peers. And share your own.



Katherine, 26, is working as a bartender in Somerville, but it’s making her miserable. She fears the gap is widening between her and her plans. Desperate to make a change, she’s quitting her job and moving back home — with no idea of what comes next.

Her Story ›


Sam, 27, is living with his dad in small-town Massachusetts, waiting tables and killing time. He has always dreamed of a career in journalism and longs to return to city life. But without a safety net underneath him, he is terrified of taking the leap.

His Story ›

One of the things that makes me so angry is that I bought into it. I thought that if did all the right things, that I would be able to have a successful life. And that wasn’t the case.



I am afraid this generation has missed the golden age of the American Dream. Hard work and education are not enough to get you where you want to go - in fact, it won't even get you close.



of 22-to-29 year olds do not believe the American Dream is still alive 1

Genevieve, Generation Stuck blogger

There is a frustration with the fact that previous generations didn't have to worry about so much competition. They were guaranteed jobs in their field after graduation.

Genevieve WBUR blogger

Christine, Generation Stuck blogger

We need to stop believing that the American Dream will be attainable in exactly the way we want. It might be harder now and you might not get exactly what you were expecting.

Christine WBUR blogger


of 22-to-29 year olds feel their economic situation will end up the same or worse than their parents 2

The idea of the American Dream with the job, house, 2 cars and kids by your mid-20s was a potential reality for our parents' generation, but not ours.

Elisabeth WBUR commenter

I’m 28 and getting married. I worry about having children because I won’t be able to give them as comfortable a life as my parents gave me. Isn’t that what the American Dream is about?

Nicole Sawitz WBUR commenter

Seth, Generation Stuck blogger

Everyone agrees that us twenty-somethings won't have the same quality of life as our parents.

Seth WBUR blogger

Even with a better education and higher paying job, I’m nowhere close to being able to afford at 29 ... things my parents had in their early twenties.

Jeremy Remy Morrison WBUR commenter

How Do You Feel?

Do you worry that the American Dream is no longer a reality? That hard work alone will not ensure your success?