Here’s How Millennials’ Lives Were Changed By Recession 10 Years Ago


Ben Kothe / BuzzFeed News

A decade has passed since the bottom fell out of the economy in 2008. The resulting crisis — a period of staggering unemployment in which peaked at 10%, a distressed housing market, along with woeful economic decline — is actually commonly referred to as the Great Recession. the item was a defining moment for many millennials who were coming of age as uncertainty mushroomed along with opportunity shrunk. Today, millennials are full-fledged adults, with the oldest approaching 40 years old. along with although unemployment is actually at a 49-year low, many millennials find themselves on the edge of poverty in low-wage jobs as the cost of living keeps rising. While many have recovered coming from the immediate traumas of the recession, they also live with the consequences of a lost decade.

We asked the BuzzFeed Community to share their personal stories of how they continue to experience the impacts of the financial crisis. The response was overwhelming. Many survived the foreclosure of homes, parents losing jobs, along with years of fruitless job hunting after graduating school. A common misfortune across posts was unexpectedly taking out big loans for school along with maxing out credit cards to stay afloat, especially when savings ran out after parents became unemployed. along with many respondents said they were only able to secure poorly paid work as their debt grew. On top of This kind of, some adult millennials live with enduring fears along with insecurities in which dissuade them coming from doing big life alterations, such as getting married or having children. What’s clear is actually in which This kind of generation is actually far more resilient than the item often gets credit for.

1.

I can’t afford to have children along with the item breaks my heart.

The economic crisis aftermath has affected my ability to have children. With my salary along with student loan debt I can’t afford to have children, along with the item breaks my heart. I may potentially never get the chance to be a mom — my ultimate desire.

—hmkriley

2.

I don’t know if I can ever feel fully secure.

My mother signed an adjustable rate mortgage on a condo in 2006 during the housing boom along with almost immediately regretted the item. By 2009 she had lost her condo to foreclosure along with were packing up to move back in with my grandparents on my 20th birthday.

Within months my father was laid off coming from his job along with could be unemployed for the next 18 months. Simultaneously, the major chain bookstore my sister worked at went under, along with she could be unemployed for the next 10 months.

By 2011, I was graduating college along with moving back home with little expectations of finding a job in my field. I moved in with my sister along with dad in a one-bedroom apartment. By This kind of time my dad had found a job nevertheless was only slowly climbing out of his financial hole. My job search was demoralizing along that has a harsh reality to face. I decided to take on an unpaid internship in which advertised “the possibility of full-time employment.” I quickly learned in which This kind of was grossly exaggerated, nevertheless with no place else to go, I stayed for six months hoping the experience could give me an advantage within the job market. SPOILER ALERT: the item didn’t. I eventually got a part-time job at a craft store where I stayed for three years, underpaid along with incredibly unhappy.

Fast forward to 2018, along with I’m working successfully in merchandising. I’m doing well nevertheless still have anxiety about my along with my family’s financial situations. I don’t know if I can ever feel fully secure in in which regard. I learned a lot coming from in which time along with try not to look back with resentment of the idea in which people a little older than me along with people a little younger than me had a vastly different experience. I’ve only slowly recognized the effect in which period had on me along with my entire future, nevertheless I learned you can only move forward.

—sjarguell

3.

My husband stayed home for almost two years after our youngest was born.

I was finishing my master’s in zoology in 2008. I’d say the item’s impacted our lives in two ways: One, no matter how many times I took jobs in which were outwardly vertical moves or increases in responsibility, my salary stayed pretty stagnant. in which made the item hard to afford child care, which leads to point #2: None of our immediate family within the area can afford to retire along with help with child care, even though they want to. My husband stayed home for almost two years after our youngest was born along with we’ve struggled financially.

—raphaelahops

4.

All entry-level positions were cut along with currently I’ve been out of the industry too long.

I worked retail for nine years before I found a job doing something in which’s totally not what I went to school for. I had to give up on my dream job because all entry-level positions were cut, along with currently I’ve been out of the industry too long to get a job.

—koskikatie

5.

Mortgaged at $249K, sold for $89K.

My husband along with I bought our first home in 2004. By 2007 the item was mortgaged at about three times what the item definitely should have been. We refinanced three times between 2004–2007 — I think we thought, wow free money so we’d rack up our credit cards, refinance, pay them off, along with start the vicious cycle all over again. Our house was mortgaged at $249,000 along with we knew we were severely upside down. We attempted to work with the mortgage company to keep our home. l resolved to short sell the item [for $89K] along with eventually just walked away.

We found a rental condo in a MUCH better community for $700 less per month. Three years later (with the help of a VA loan) we bought our forever home in in which same community. Predatory lending along with our naïveté led to This kind of disaster, nevertheless the item was the best thing in which could have happened. along with we will NEVER refinance to take money out against our home.

—kgau28

6.

There is actually no work where I live without the insane credentials.

I never went to college, so I’m lucky enough to not have student loan debt. nevertheless I have plenty of some other debt because I’ve had nothing nevertheless part-time job after part-time job. There is actually no work where I live without the insane credentials. “Entry level” around here (Midwest) requires at minimum an associate’s degree along that has a couple years of experience — along with in which’s for jobs in which literally anyone can do: office jobs, school support staffing, etc. Nothing offers insurance, nothing offers dental or vision or vacation time, not in which I could afford a vacation if I wanted to. Life is actually overall garbage, has been since 2008. There is actually no getting out of This kind of hole; there is actually no moving up within the planet. This kind of is actually the item.

—trisjohnson

7.

I packed up along with moved to Shanghai.

I graduated that has a liberal arts degree in 2014 (I’m 26 currently) along with knew there was about zero chance of me getting a full-time job in my field. Instead I packed up along with moved to Shanghai, where I’ve been teaching ESL for over three years. Every job I’ve had here has offered a month’s vacation (at least), health insurance, along that has a housing allowance on top of my salary. I want to go back home, nevertheless every time I visit I see how my friends along with family are struggling just to make ends meet, let alone having money left over to enjoy their lives. currently I feel trapped in China (the culture shock is actually REAL) because I don’t want to choose between the lifestyle I have currently or going home where people my age can’t make enough to buy homes or start families.

—seanasaysso

8.

We graduated along with went home along with kept doing the same retail/restaurant jobs we’d been doing.

What’s interesting is actually in which as a member of the class of 2007, I feel like we were the canaries within the mines when the item came to the impending recession. The class of 2006 got the “college graduate” jobs we’d been raised to believe in when we went to school. nevertheless with my graduating class, quite a few more of us didn’t. We graduated along with went home along with kept doing the same retail/restaurant jobs we’d been doing. along that has a lot of my friends, including me, still are. I work a service job I hate in which pays $15 an hour, along with in which still isn’t actually a living wage, despite falling within the middle income range for where I live. I owe $38,000 in student loan debt for a degree I’m not using, along with which I will likely never pay off, because thanks to income based repayment along with my low income, I don’t make enough to even pay all the interest my loans accrue each year. I do have a house along that has a car, nevertheless only because my parents supplement my income each month.

—paladin12

9.

I am realizing just how far behind in which initial delay put me as far as income potential along with saving for retirement.

I graduated law school at peak recession within the legal industry — 2009. My law firm laid off a bunch of lawyers along with rescinded its offer to all its incoming lawyers. the item took me 14 months to find another legal job, along with even then, the item was very low-paying because I felt like I needed to take any job. within the meantime, I had to start paying back law school loans. While I finally was able to find a higher paying job, in which took four years. the item’s currently been another four years, along with I am realizing just how far behind in which initial delay put me as far as income potential along with saving for retirement.

—lalchi


Ben Kothe / BuzzFeed News

10.

I am on my way to in which $80,000 a year.

When the Great Recession hit 10 years ago, my clients were losing their jobs, homes, cars, etc., so they couldn’t afford a pricy haircut. I moved to a salon where we charged $5 for kids cuts along with $7 for adult cuts… along with my clients still could barely afford to keep up their appearance. Charging such low prices along with seeing less along with less clients had me in a place where I was excited if my check for a week was over $300! I was told in which out of beauty school I should be doing $80,000 in a few years, along with I wasn’t even doing $20,000! Thankfully, 10 years later at the age of 36, I have gotten to a place where I don’t feel bad about charging $60 for a hair cut along with am on my way to in which $80,000 a year.

—heatherw4c10d013c

11.

Before I even started off, my position was cut.

I graduated coming from college within the fall of 2007 along with had a job lined up prior to graduating. Before I even started off, my position was cut, along with soon the corporate office I was supposed to work at permanently closed. I had been working retail while in school, along with in which’s where I stayed 10 years after because my position was safe there along with I could occasionally pick up overtime. I made constant efforts to get out, nevertheless there was nothing… unless I wanted to move, of course, with little money, to somewhere with an even higher cost of living. I have a better job currently in which I definitely enjoy, nevertheless I’m not using any of my degrees. At This kind of point, constantly working is actually all I know, along with I’m terrified to spend my time doing anything nevertheless. I was along with am very much single. I don’t foresee myself ever getting married, nevertheless if I wanted to, I wouldn’t develop the time or the energy for the item. I’m envious of those in which are, for the bit of financial benefit the item affords.

—suisumisu

12.

We had to work so hard to get back on our feet with two kids after going coming from six figures to food stamps.

My husband was at Merrill Lynch on Wall Street in 2008 when the item crashed… we lost everything along with filed for bankruptcy. He left finance along with went into education, nevertheless landed back in finance recently. We had to work so hard to get back on our feet with two kids, after going coming from six figures to food stamps along with WIC [a federally funded nutrition assistance program]. We finally left NYC because we felt the city didn’t love us back, along with we settled within the Bay Area, not realizing the item could turn into the most expensive housing market within the country.

—cristinar40dc0464f

13.

The worst part was the degree was bullshit.

I’m 31 years old. My mom lost her home during the recession. I remember the day after I graduated coming from high school, I landed a job as a waitress. I was trying to help pay the mortgage along with feed our family along with my mom was a full-time manager at [a big box store] at the time. My boss could let me buy food coming from work along with just take the item coming from my check whenever I needed to feed my little brothers cause we were so broke. Then I made the BIGGEST mistake of my life. I’m still in crippling debt coming from all the loans I got coming from [college]. The worst part was the degree was bullshit. I graduated that has a bullshit Associates of Applied Science degree for Medical Billing along with Insurance Coding. When I tried to get a car for once when I was 25, I didn’t qualify because of my student loans. I had to buy coming from a used car place along with the transmission went out four months after I bought the item. I went to college to better myself along with try to have a better life along with not have to worry about ever having my home taken away like my mom did. nevertheless to This kind of day I can’t even buy a home if I wanted. I also am afraid to even get married because I don’t want to burden my future husband with any debt I still have.

—alexandriabg

14.

I count my blessings every day.

Compared to most people, my husband along with I consider ourselves very lucky. We both got hired right out of college, along with my husband’s offer actually came within the fall of 2008, right when the market crashed. the item was a bit lower than what he should have received, nevertheless his company has been generous with promotions along with has more than made up in which initial difference. We were both privileged enough to graduate with no student loans. We’ve paid off our cars, have decent savings including a very healthy 401(k), a not bad amount of education funds for our child, along with enough money set aside for medical emergencies in our HSA account. We also have an affordable mortgage on a completely new construction, single-family home in a decent school district. the item’s affordable enough in which we’ve been able to make the item work on just one income while I stay home with our child (because I wanted to). I count my blessings every day. I know many of our peers have not had an easy time.

—jan28

15.

I chose a very difficult, stressful career field in which I’m not sure is actually truly my passion.

My husband along with I were both in college during the Great Recession. I remember sitting within the business school building watching the news on TV about the stock market crashing. I don’t think I can understate the impact This kind of had on both of us in terms of how we spend along with save our money, as well as just plan our lives in general. Thankfully we are financially stable, nevertheless This kind of is actually mostly because I am a very practical person along with chose a career in nursing. I knew the item was a stable career where I could earn a decent wage, nevertheless I didn’t necessarily love the item. My husband (who got a business degree in marketing) had a very difficult time finding a job out of college along with worked internships along with low-paying seasonal positions for years. Finally he refused to go back to his seasonal job, along with ended up unemployed for a year. The hardships we went through in which year still weigh on our minds when we make any financial decision. the item was the most stressful time in our marriage, along with I’ve never seen my husband so low. We are doing okay currently, along with thankfully don’t have much debt, nevertheless This kind of is actually mostly due to the fact in which I chose a very difficult, stressful career field in which I’m not sure is actually truly my passion.

—sbest

16.

The poor kids, still pretty fucking poor. They all have jobs, though.

Around 12 years ago my family (my mom, brother, along with myself) lost our home during the burst. I sold everything in my room — my synthesizer, half my posters, a ton of CDs, combat boots. Whatever I had, I sold the item along with gave the money to my mom. We moved into a trailer park. We went to college (all of us) nevertheless the growing debt made me drop out along with look for work. After a while gas prices had risen so high in which my mom couldn’t afford to commute to her job, about 100 miles a day. So we ended up having to leave a trailer with no heat, sometimes no water, huge holes within the floor, rats, because we were in which fucking broke. We all three moved back in with my grandmother along with great-grandmother.

currently I teach those with intellectual disabilities how to live more independently. My mom is actually also doing the same kind of work. We still live together to keep the lights on.

The decade of instability, anxiety, mixed with inherited family mental disorders like depression along with ADHD, led me along with my entire family down the traditional path of our family: lots of drinking. We all had our ups along with downs.

I see my peers. They’re still here within the same town. They’re all pretty much where they were 10 years ago. Some got married along with moved a few states away. They’re all still within the same class set they were within the beginning, though. The poor kids, still pretty fucking poor. They all have jobs though.

—holidayg

17.

My parents fed us over themselves when we had little food.

My dad was one of the 0 people laid off at his work because the Great Recession. We struggled for three years to find a job in which could feed us along with lived off unemployment checks. We got evicted coming from our house along with had to live at my dad’s friend’s house, then my older brother’s house, along with lastly my oldest sister’s. Once my dad had found a suitable job, the item took us four years to get where we are today. along with sometimes we still struggle with money. the item was such a struggle to even eat. My parents fed us over themselves when we had little food. the item still has its lasting effects on me. Whenever we eat, I always think how thankful I am in which we have food along with we don’t have to go to bed hungry.

—majesticgrace666

18.

I’m nowhere near where I thought I could be at 35.

I opened a store right before the recession: great first year then terrible. I managed to survive a few years before being calling the item quits. in which same year, I almost died coming from a wisdom tooth extraction gone wrong (no health insurance), along with my family lost our home of 30 years in a total BS move by [our bank]. the item’s taken me a few years to slowly rebuild my life. I’m nowhere near where I thought I could be at 35. nevertheless last year my boyfriend along with I left Chicago because we wanted to own a home along with not live paycheck to paycheck. We bought a house in Detroit (Detroit proper, not metro) along with the item was the best decision ever. The economy is actually not great, wages have not caught up with inflation, along with again This kind of is actually not where I thought I could be, nevertheless I wish the item’s gonna get better.

—factorygirl82

19.

the item sucked, nevertheless I’m so thankful for everything I have currently. along with in which makes me so proud.

within the decade since the crash, some of the most striking things are closely related to how much decay has hit the rust belt within the Midwest. I dropped out of college when my dad lost his job at the plant along with my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. By 2010 we all couldn’t afford to live in a dying city, so we moved. My parents filed bankruptcy, the house I grew up in was foreclosed on, along with we all, with basically the clothes on our back, fled to Tennessee where my mother’s family is actually coming from. We got on food stamps, started off gardening, along with fishing, along with definitely worked as hard as we could along with leaned on each some other for support.

At the time I couldn’t help nevertheless feel like the item was unfair. I just wanted to be a normal kid, getting drunk at a frat party or develop the luxury of complaining about how hard a college class was. Instead I was working 50 hours a week so we could afford my mum’s medicine. I look back currently along with I wouldn’t trade in which for the planet. I’m so close to not only my family, nevertheless my aunt along with cousins as well. At 28, I’ve finally gone back to school. the item sucked, nevertheless I’m so thankful for everything I have currently. along with in which makes me so proud.

—lizb4e498c385

20.

Losing our twenties to layoffs along with poor employment opportunities meant in which some other things were put off.

Due to the recession along with lack of opportunity, my husband along with I moved. the item took me almost four years to find a position in which offered benefits along with retirement options. We are in a better place financially, nevertheless losing our twenties to layoffs along with poor employment opportunities meant in which some other things were put off. I still have crippling student loan debt (that has a degree I have never used); we both filed for bankruptcy; we put off children (along with currently are struggling to conceive); along with buying a house feels like a pipe dream.

—e4509dd65e


Ben Kothe / BuzzFeed News

21.

I honestly don’t see a point in my life where I’m not going to be paying off some sort of debt caused by what we lost within the recession.

My family lost nearly all of our savings during the recession along with lost all of our investments, which meant in which my brother’s along with my college funds no longer existed. Not only did the recession happen, nevertheless my parents got divorced while the item was happening. Once I realized how bad things were for the family (I was 15), I started off working 60-hour weeks as a lifeguard every summer along with teaching private swim lessons during the school year to ensure I could pay for everything I needed along with lessen the burden on my parents (food, gas along with car insurance, clothes, etc). I learned later in life in which the recession didn’t affect just my brother’s along with my education fund, nevertheless the item cost both of my parents their retirement too. Even though I’m doing ok 10 years later along with on my own, I’m still thousands of dollars in debt along with also help both of my parents with their bills when they need the item. I honestly don’t see a point in my life where I’m not going to be paying off some sort of debt caused by what we lost within the recession.

—victoriaa43d5503fc

22.

I was helping clients who were at risk of losing their homes as a result of the recession.

I was a 21-year old Jr. Executive at a branch of CitiGroup. The business began experiencing symptoms of the inevitable early within the year when our mortgage refinance business came to a halt as a result of declining property values in our area along with credit scores of our clients. My branch was forced to shut down the day after Thanksgiving along with I was laid off.

I was able to land a permanent position that has a bank almost a year later in 2009. In in which role, I was helping clients who were at risk of losing their homes as a result of the recession. I worked tirelessly to reestablish myself. By 2012, things started off to stabilize. Once the economy started off taking an upward swing I found myself laid off again in 2014. Since credit along with property values were viable Just as before, there was no need for my services.

I made the decision to exit the financial industry in which year to pursue another field along with also return to school. the item was a difficult transition, nevertheless in these past four years I have experienced great financial along with professional growth. I had the opportunity to see along with experience effects of the recession coming from multiple angles. the item taught me to get up, push through, along with persevere.

—estefaniag43cd9380d

23.

I still get panic attacks along with nightmares about losing the item all over again.

I lost my job at the beginning of the recession. I had been at the company for a few years. I ended up taking an entry level position within a company where there was plenty of opportunity to advance. On day one I told my boss what my qualifications were along with what role I wanted along with we mapped out a plan to get me there. During in which time I worked on my certification, used the company’s relationship that has a local university to get an advanced degree, along with worked 80-hour weeks at three jobs to surpass where I had been at the some other company.

the item took two years to bounce back coming from the loss of my job, along with three more to get my trajectory back. I still get panic attacks along with nightmares about losing the item all over again.

—stephe4fc077afc

24.

We both feel resentment toward the adults who set us up to pursue our dreams — only to be told by those same people in which there’s nothing for you.

I had to move back home along with transfer to a community college because my parents were adamant I leave college with no debt. (the item’s been the greatest gift they’ve ever given me.) I graduated that has a degree in history along with couldn’t find a job in which could pay me more than what I was doing as a waitress. I ended up working my way up within the restaurant industry, along with felt trapped for so long because I hated my job nevertheless had no experience elsewhere along with could not take a pay cut. Upon my husband’s graduation, he couldn’t find a job except at a exotic car dealership. He found a minimum-wage job, worked his way up, along with actually does well. Although we’re fine currently, we both feel resentment toward the adults who set us up to pursue our dreams/work hard/do the right thing — only to be told by those same people in which there’s nothing for you because they squandered the item. Living through the recession just showed me how hard my husband was willing to work, along with the item’s probably one of the biggest reasons our marriage is actually solid currently. We know how much we’re willing to do when times are tough.

—sonyac4771faaac

25.

I graduated in 2009 that has a BFA in graphic design.

I graduated in 2009 that has a BFA in graphic design only to be told in which most of us may not be able to find jobs. The only job in my field in which paid was my summer internship right after graduation; after in which, all the internships I encountered didn’t offer pay. I moved into my parent’s basement, along with what was supposed to be a temporary job at Best Buy ended up lasting a little over four years. Around age 25, I was physically/mentally exhausted by doing freelance jobs, internships in which paid in experience, along with an unreliable check coming from working part-time in retail. So gave up along with got a job doing menial work in a warehouse. Six months in, I worked my way into getting an administrative position which I worked for six years. Three years into the position I managed to scrimp along with save enough buy a house. My field has changed so much within the past 10 years in which I could have to re-learn a lot of the item. I have currently settled for a job outside my field since the item suits my needs along with I can continue my life, nevertheless I still have to explain to older generations why I don’t have a job in my field.

—shaunar

26.

I became a Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar.

I graduated coming from college in 2008. Expecting there were no jobs along with wanting to get international experience in my field, I became a Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar. the item was a not bad decision personally, professionally, along with financially. Even though I didn’t make a lot of money, I also didn’t get into any more debt! I got a Peace Corps fellowship for a master’s program along with then went overseas to teach again. currently I’m finishing up my PhD. Thanks to the Peace Corps, I was able to avoid serious consequences coming from the recession along with also advance my career.

—dorothym4a65ef524

27.

I grew coming from a sheltered, privileged girl, to a woman who is actually grateful for each opportunity.

My husband along with I were both young college students when the recession hit. Suddenly, we found ourselves struggling to find work. Despite our college degrees (I have two), the only options we found required a college education, offered no benefits, were part-time, along with paid minimum wage. We were stuck. My husband was laid off suddenly, along with couldn’t find anything some other than part-time temp work. We took the jobs we could, went to the food bank, along with dreamed for our future. As soon as I graduated college, we moved to Seattle along with started off our completely new lives. Life after the move was hard at first. We worked manual labor jobs along with lived very frugally. While the item was frustrating, we choose to be optimistic along with hardworking. I will always remember in which time as a season where I grew coming from a sheltered, privileged girl, to a woman who is actually grateful for each opportunity. I won’t forget in which time when I went without, along with in which keeps me grounded currently.

—clarissac4b09dbc8a,

28.

University isn’t for everyone. along with there are so many jobs in which require trade skills in which make not bad money.

Recession hit my family hard. Dad got laid off after working for a great company for 17 years in 2008. He said the item was one of the saddest times of his life. He used part of his 401(k) to help pay the mortgage, found full- along with part-time work here along with there, nevertheless being within the manufacturing field during the recession, he could get laid off again along with again. He eventually had to retire early due to disability at 61 years old along with used the rest of his 401(k) to pay off the mortgage. Thank god my mom works within the health care field, along with we were never definitely in danger when the recession hit.

I graduated in 2011 with BSN in nursing, along with thankfully with nursing, work is actually easier to find along with the pay is actually decent. I graduated with $25K in loans, nevertheless I’ll pay the item all off three years coming from currently. Working in health care isn’t for everyone, nevertheless the item is actually one of the few fields where work is actually much easier to find.

My husband was in a completely different boat. Majored within the wrong field along with ended up $60K in student loan debt for nothing — he didn’t even get a degree. currently he has his associate’s along with is actually working in a not bad field in manufacturing where he got his associate degree for free. University isn’t for everyone, along with there are so many jobs in which require trade skills in which make not bad money.

currently we bought a house last year along with trying to start a family.

—nataliesi

29.

I maintain in which going to college along with starting my own business were the two worst decisions of my life.

I was 25 in 2008. I had two years of experience in my field along with couldn’t find a job, so I went to grad school. I still couldn’t find a job… any job. I ended up starting my own business, which had been definitely hard since my industry tanked along with all the mom along with pop stores are shutting down. I’m still struggling with lots of debt along with currently my family is actually depending on my business to not fail. the item sucks. I maintain going to college along with starting my own business were the two worst decisions of my life. I am so frustrated. I did everything “right” according to my family to start a career along with live comfortably… along with currently I basically need to work my full-time business plus two side jobs to make ends meet. I don’t know what to do honestly. the item’s scary.

—rebeccanealonr

30.

I may have a permanent case of “what ifs.”

In 2008 I was 24 along with graduating coming from dental hygiene school. I could spend the next two years struggling to get jobs. Even a one-day-per-week position could have dozens of applicants. THANK YOU, STARBUCKS, for keeping me afloat!

I still worry about having enough work to get by. [My husband along with I] basically operate in fear of losing work along with income. We do our best to make wise along with judicious financial decisions. We have had roommates for the last four along that has a half years. We may not have children. The recession was nuts, along with the item still is actually always within the back of my mind. I may have a permanent case of “what if’s” for the rest of my life when the item comes to paying bills, finding jobs, along with not going into debt.

—julienansonp


Ben Kothe / BuzzFeed News

31.

The impact in which the recession had on ME personally was life-changing in a positive way.

I was working for a very successful structural steel company, doing excellent money, along with enjoying lots of perks, (despite not having finished college ) when the recession hit. The commodities market tanked along with most construction along with engineering building projects ground to a halt. I was laid off, single, female, 31. I allowed myself a weekend of drinking along with crying along with then decided to definitely think about what I was interested in since I suddenly found myself forced to reinvent myself. Thanks to Oregon unemployment training (ability to receive unemployment while attending school full time) I became a medical assistant while also becoming an x-ray tech. I found a great job for far less money than I was used to doing, nevertheless I was definitely invested in in which job. After four years I decided to go to nursing school while working, along with I’m currently a nurse manager. I can honestly say in which the impact in which the recession had on ME personally was life-changing in a positive way. the item forced me to pull myself up by the bootstraps, definitely look within the mirror along with ask myself, “what do you definitely want; what are you capable of?” along with I found my answer.

—redjennifer

32.

I was hella ambitious, life had some other plans.

I moved home to live with my parents along with as I searched for work, collected unemployment, worked part-time gigs, along with continued to just “wait the item out.” I had to endure consistent speeches coming from them about “being lazy” along with “not wanting to work.” They love me, nevertheless they made sure to let me know I was a burden, which had a detrimental effect on how I presented myself to the planet. I didn’t date for three years along with I still view not being financially stable all on my own as a reason to keep my tail between my legs in in which arena. In 2013, I went back to teaching. In 2014, I finally moved out. along with In 2016, I finally made the item to LA. I’m proud in which I never gave up, along with I am slowly doing not bad on in which degree I earned. nevertheless, the recession definitely “recessed” me. I feel 25, not 34, along with I don’t have nearly what I thought I could by currently. the item is actually a process to forgive myself for letting myself down. I was hella ambitious, life had some other plans.

—stephaniec4f3490d27

33.

the item wasn’t until about age 30 in which we even started off feeling like adults.

I’m 33. My husband along with I both graduated college in 2007. We have spent years working definitely low-wage jobs, sometimes multiple jobs. the item wasn’t until about age 30 in which we even started off feeling like adults. We bought a house along with both moved into jobs in which used our skill sets. I have student loan debt. I have credit card debt coming from my twenties in which I still can’t pay off. the item’s the biggest roadblock to having kids right currently.

—erind4dbc55597

34.

Since the labor market was so tight, there was no room to move up or negotiate for a higher salary.

I graduated college in 2008. I was bartending at a common restaurant at the time, nevertheless could not find a job in which related to my major at all. I finally found a job in which turned out to be definitely crappy, nevertheless since the labor market was so tight, there was no room to move up or negotiate for a higher salary. I stayed there for a long time for fear of not being able to find something better. I definitely feel the item put me behind in terms of building my worth financially along with developing skills.

—leonae4a7f8ae7c

35.

I taught myself the skills I needed to succeed, along with I’m pretty damn proud of in which.

I had to drop out of college because we couldn’t afford the item along with start working full time. I started off as a filing clerk in a doctors office along with slowly moved my way up through various jobs along with positions. the item took a lot of hard work along with teaching myself the skills to build a successful career. Currently, approaching my 30th birthday, I am the operations director for a marketing along with advertising company. In a way I am one of the lucky ones — yes, I had to work incredibly hard, nevertheless I didn’t incur thousands of dollars in student debt. I taught myself the skills I needed to succeed, along with I’m pretty damn proud of in which. This kind of is actually for all the baby boomers in which say millennials are lazy.

—megano31

36.

My condo dropped almost $100K in value.

My condo dropped almost $100K in value almost overnight, along with then the hospital I worked for decided to cut costs, along with my position was part of the cost-cutting. Because I didn’t have any kids or anything tying me down, I was able to move to completely new Jersey to take a job, which actually catapulted my career. Then I relocated to the Bay Area to start a position that has a lofty title nevertheless shitty pay at a startup biotechnology company. in which company was sold along with my stock netted me a few hundred thousand, which enabled me to go back to school for my masters along with pay off all of my student loan debt. I eventually took what was left along with moved back to Chicago to live my dream of starting my own restaurant.

—j49a3a8931

37.

I’m scared along with tired along with I don’t want to keep working so hard for so little.

I believe in which due to the crash, no matter how much I work or go to school, I can’t live the life in which I’ve worked so hard for. Throughout college, I worked two to three jobs at a time to make ends meet, along with I still graduated with $60K in student loan debt. I couldn’t seem to get a job in which paid more than $15 an hour. So I decided to go back to school for my Master’s, hoping to open more career opportunities. After years of trying to get into higher education, I am currently going back for a second MA, This kind of time in Educational Leadership along with Policy Studies. Again, I’m told over along with over I don’t need the degree, nevertheless in order to be competitive within the job market, I’m doing the item. I always thought by currently I could be settled in my career along with working my way up, nevertheless I’m terrified I’m going to have to get an entry-level job in which I’m overqualified for along with makes only $2K a month. along with then there’s the dream of buying a house…in which’s not even an option. With houses ranging coming from $600K to over a million dollars, a 20% down payment in itself is actually six figures. How can we as a generation save up enough when we can’t get jobs in which pay enough to even put money into savings? I want to start a family, nevertheless I’m still fighting an uphill battle, along with I refuse to have kids until I make enough to fully support my kids. I’m scared along with tired along with I don’t want to keep working so hard for so little.

—brittneyneff

38.

I have a complex currently.

I have a complex currently. I don’t completely trust banks or the stock market. I can’t. I’m too afraid the item will happen again, along with with everyone’s money in banks, I don’t know if we will survive. What if I buy a house along with the item becomes worthless? Too many variables. We didn’t ever truly bounce back enough for me to feel comfortable.

—asyanyotaw

39.

I can’t say This kind of is actually where I likely to be at This kind of age.

I attended law school coming from 2006 to 2009. In 2006, attending law school was a lucrative, sound career move. By the time I graduated, the bubble had burst along with getting a job was essentially impossible. Job offers were rescinded along with many of my classmates started off working for free just to get their foot within the door somewhere.

I was forced to move back home with my mom for well over a year before I finally landed a job as an attorney with the federal government. I ate a ton of rice along with frozen broccoli because I was broke along with the item was cheap. I lived out of two suitcases on the floor since pretty much everything I had at the time was up in Boston along with I couldn’t afford to go up along with get the item. I took the bus to/coming from work along with slept on an air mattress for about six months before I could actually afford to buy a mattress along with car because my credit went to hell after being unemployed so long.

I also graduated with an insane amount of student loans. Massive. I’m basically the poster child for student debt problems. They were about $225K at graduation nevertheless locked at about 8% interest, so they just recently hit about $300K.

I’m about to be 37 years old, along with, thanks to a couple of family emergencies, my savings are nonexistent. I’m currently renting a room in someone else’s house in an attempt to be financially responsible. While I currently have a car, bed, along with don’t have to eat rice along with broccoli, I can’t say This kind of is actually where I likely to be at This kind of age… the item’s certainly been a struggle!

—mg928

40.

I gave up along with went to grad school. I have my current job because of in which degree.

I graduated that has a BA in English in December 2008 along with couldn’t get a teaching job because the school system instituted a hiring freeze right when the economy started off taking a nosedive. I tried unsuccessfully, for almost three years, to get a permanent position somewhere — ANYWHERE — along with then just gave up along with went to grad school, hoping I’d be able to get a job with an MA. I was right, as the item turns out — I have my current job, which I’ve held for six years currently as a public school teacher in Miami, Florida, because of in which degree. nevertheless I have a little under $30,000 of debt in which has been difficult to chip away at, even living at home with my mom, because, well, I’m a public school teacher.

—veronicah4f1a7e6a9

41.

I got a job at a foreclosure law firm … they ended up getting shut down for fraud.

I graduated in 2008, right as the recession happened. I tried for over a year to get a job as a paralegal nevertheless kept getting hit with needing obscene levels of experience for entry-level positions in which paid $10 an hour. Plus, I was competing against experienced paralegals along with even attorneys in which were laid off. I worked two customer service jobs, daytime along with night, plus lived off the assistance of my parents.

Finally, I got a job at a foreclosure law firm, which I only worked at for a few months because I hated working on the side of the banks to take people’s homes away coming from them. They ended up getting shut down for fraud not long after I left.

I moved to a different state to go to grad school in a completely unrelated field. I have over $100K in debt due to school, nevertheless I’m finally independent along with have a decent-paying job. Income-based loan repayment is actually the only way I’m able to afford to pay my loans along with I’m working toward the Public Service Loan Forgiveness. I didn’t develop the item as bad as others, nevertheless the recession fucked me up along with continues to impact my life today.

—aviva6

42.

I have had to find some other things in which keep me fulfilled outside of work.

I graduated coming from college in August of 2008, along with in which was the absolute worst time to graduate coming from college. I had a part-time job in my degree field thanks to an internship. However, the reality caught up to me along with I needed a full-time job with benefits. So I took a call center job just so I could have a steady income along with benefits. I found some other, more tolerable jobs within in which company until I found something else. I still am not working in my degree field, nevertheless I have had to find some other things in which keep me fulfilled outside of work.

—ashleyh433fd417b

43.

A banker told us to use credit cards to bring our credit scores up.

So my husband along with I met right before the bubble popped. He was going into grad school along with we moved in together. the item popped right when he got out, along with he could not land a paying job. We had to move to my parents’ farm for four years until the market picked up. He finally got a paying job, along with we got married, nevertheless he lost his job when I was three months pregnant, along with I had to work two jobs: one was my usual job as an aide in a school, along with then I could clean the school after the kids left. I quit when he got a job, nevertheless because of years of money instability, we got into a lot of credit card debt. A banker had told us to use [cards] to bring our credit scores up, nevertheless we were not smart along with maxed them out to pay for heating along with food along with outings. We were not smart at all. We have an end in sight to the end of our debt along with have vowed to only have one credit card ever again along with to not trust the banks. Our devotion to each some other is actually what kept us going through the item all.

—y4652c522c

44.

I was able to stay afloat in my own apartment because of my bartending job.

I’m 32 currently along with graduated undergrad in 2008, master’s in 2010. I immediately went into bartending to pay my rent along with loans along with put myself through graduate school. Many of my classmates were forced to move back in with their parents, as there were simply no jobs. Many of my friends also saw jobs like retail along with service “beneath them.” I was able to stay afloat in my own apartment because of my bartending job. in which job helped me get into alcohol sales, which I am still doing today. I’m still paying on student loans, nevertheless I bought my very first house last year.

—alin4d6b37523

45.

I’ll be paying for college for damn near the rest of my life.

I was in high school when the Great Recession hit. At the time, my father had just had a major heart attack, along with my mother, who had never had to work before, picked up a job as a bus driver to cover the expenses. the item was rough for everyone. I remember some other kids saying their parents lost their jobs too. My father wasn’t able to get his job back after he recovered coming from his quadruple bypass surgery, so he started off limo driving. We were fortunate enough to have a family savings account to draw coming from when money was tight. However, my parents did not end up having enough money to send me to college, so I had to take a year off school to save up for tuition. I’ll be paying for college for damn near the rest of my life. Even after completing a BA, I’m finding the item hard to find a job with benefits in which can also pay the bills.

—tiffanyeileenr

46.

This kind of is actually a stone I’ll never get out coming from under.

In June 2008 I lost my job (as a bank teller) along with decided to go back to school for my bachelor’s, at 26. I couldn’t depend on family for financial support, so the item was tough along with hasn’t gotten better. Since graduating, I’ve moved across the country three times looking for work. I’ve never been able to have fewer than two jobs at once. I wasn’t able to use my degree to get more than an entry-level job, so I finally decided to go to grad school in order to change my career along with try to support myself with one job along with have some work/life balance. I’d like a creative, fulfilling career, nevertheless I’m not holding my breath. I’m in crushing debt coming from being laid off, coming from moving for a career, coming from supporting myself in school, along with having to take out student loans. This kind of is actually a stone I’ll never get out coming from under.

—michellel47949134f

Note: Submissions have been edited for length along with/or clarity.

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