Young, broke and scared: A college student worries about the future

By Alyssa Menard |

My summer job that has been supporting me and allowing me to be a full-time student was lost in the Sequester and I’m not very surprised. My job was determined on a year-to-year budget basis so when cuts are being made, naturally they go from the least important jobs up.

It is becoming a scary reality for me that jobs won’t be easy to find after college and paying off my debt will be even harder. This economy is not one I want to invest or borrow from, and that is entirely the problem. I’m just one college student out of millions who are grappling with the effects of what is happening. As college students, we always feel like there is a safety net that we can fall back on if absolutely necessary — student loans. It’s a mentality that money can be handed to us right now for free and we can figure the rest out later.

But “later” is looking scarier every day. I want to put off “later” for as long as possible, but unfortunately that would require more loans.

What I think is a broader problem than just the sequester alone is the lack of investment that my generation is willing to put into the U.S. economy. If I am too afraid to borrow more money than is absolutely necessary, than I am definitely not going to be spending money on anything superfluous. I personally don’t trust the economy, and rather than investing in homes and cars after I graduate, I will be working off my loans and hopefully making rent. The generation I am apart of is not going to be a booster to the economy in any effective way.

It is a bad sign for the economy when young people, the most immature of a population, are being so responsible that they have begun saving their money instead of spending it. As a young person, I wish I had the mentality that I could spend now and work later, but it is no longer the case. College is no longer the place to go blow money at a bar and wake up to a hangover and an empty wallet.  It’s becoming too scary to be careless. It’s so uncertain that students graduating this May still have no idea what kind of market they might be entering into. It is that unstable.

What needs to be discussed and worked out it Congress is no longer where to cut spending and where to raise taxes, but rather how to make the economy one that people can trust and believe in again, especially scared college students like me.

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