Twelve 20-somethings chronicle their lives for WBUR. Learn more.
In five years, I see myself either still working towards a degree in art conservation or working in the field at an entry-level position at a museum or private conservator. I see myself still renting an apartment either here in Boston or abroad, and I don’t realistically see any kids in my future at this point.
This vision is fairly different than it was five years ago, midway through my undergraduate career, and very different from my vision when I was much younger.
The reality of the situation is that Generation Stuck is getting a delayed and therefore stunted start.
We are putting our plans on hold until the economy improves and we are able to get stable and fulfilling jobs. But once these jobs become more available, it’s going to take many years to reverse the damage that debt and underemployment has done to our wallets and psyches.
Even as the economy turns around and things get better (hopefully), we are going to be feeling the effects of this downturn for many years into the future. At this point, I feel as though the damage has already been done for so many people. We have been forced to change our outlook on the future and our perception of what we are realistically capable of in the next five, ten, and fifteen years given the amount of debt we are in.
I am disappointed that I haven’t achieved more in the past five years. Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I don’t blame the economy entirely. However, the time, effort, and hard work I’ve put in to getting to the place where I am now could have been spent in more artistically productive ways if I wasn’t fairly constantly worried about if my next paycheck would be enough to pay rent, bills, and loans.
My hope for the immediate future is just for a small amount of stability, which is something I see echoed in many of my peers. The stress of an uncertain future is weighing heavily on our generation and I think we are ready to get out from under this cloud and really get started on our lives.