Today’s twenty-somethings were raised on a promise that never seemed to pan out.
Having grown up in an economy that did nothing but expand,
they graduated into the worst recession since the Great Depression.
WBUR put a call out to collect the stories of this generation, and they came flooding in.
From the dozens and dozens of submissions we received,
we chose twelve young people to share their lives.
Through their stories , and your own, Generation Stuck explores
what it means to be a twenty-something in this struggling economy.
Kat, 26, is working as a bartender in Somerville, but it’s making her miserable. She worries the gap is widening between her and her plans. Desperate to make a change, she’s quitting her job and moving home — with no idea what comes next.Her Story ›
Sam, 27, is living with his dad in small-town Massachusetts, waiting tables and killing time. He dreams 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 ›
Genevieve, 25, has been unemployed for more than a year, and recently had to move back home with her parents. She worries that the longer she's out of work, the less seriously she is being taken by employers.
Vincent, 25, had a bad experience with Teach for America that left him without a job and $20,000 in debt. Now, he's working his way through grad school and searching for a teaching job in a tough market.
Cheyenne, 24, is working multiple jobs in the theater industry as she struggles to piece together a living. She loves the work, but questions whether she will ever be able to pay off her student-loan debt.
Seth, 23, lost his father not long after graduation. His savings decimated, he lives and works out of his small apartment, putting his income toward college loans and trying to figure out what comes next.
Kerri, 29, was rising fast in the world of politics, until stress and health issues forced her to re-evaluate her path. Now she's living at home, working as a server, and trying to stay positive as she starts all over again.
Christine, 27, graduated from law school into one of the worst legal job markets ever. She wound up at home, unemployed, with nearly $200,000 in student loans. She feels years behind the plans she laid out.
Morgan, 25, teaches at a charter school. She's working toward a Master's as her debts continue to mount — not helped by a family member who forged her name on a $15,000 loan. Still, she considers herself lucky.
Sophy, 26, is an illustrator. Unable to find a job in her field, she is coming to terms with the fact that the economic reality may not support her artistic dreams and re-evaluating her ideas of happiness and success.
Roxanne, 25, is working as a science journalist and chipping away at her student loans. Her real concern is for the older generation, having watched her own parents lose their jobs and struggle to keep up.
Nathan, 28, has struggled to hold down a permanent job since graduation. Disillusioned, he is living at home, struggling to keep up on his loan payments and to manage his diabetes without health insurance.
Are you currently in a job that you feel overqualified for?
Do you think that your college education was a good investment?
What has been the impact of debt on your life?
Are in your current position because of your own decisions or factors beyond your control?
How have your relationships been affected by the economy and your own situation?
How have your self-esteem & emotional well-being been affected by the economy and your own situation?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Is that vision different than a few years ago?
08 American Dream
Do you worry that the American Dream is no longer a reality? That hard work alone will not ensure your success?