Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Cost of living increases, quality of life decreases

BY JEREMY BINNING

After sacrificing four long, hard years of work in an effort to get a bachelor’s degree, students look forward to starting their lives after graduation day. With inflation and the cost of living being as high as ever, college graduates often find themselves moving back in with their parents. 

With thousands of students graduating each year, the job market becomes increasingly more competitive. Mixed in with others who have already had experience in a particular field, many graduates have to start from the ground and build their way up. The average cost of rent in New York City is roughly $4,000, the highest ever reported by the brokerage Douglas Elliman. 

Michael Azouz, an alumnus who graduated in December of 2022, has experienced firsthand just how expensive the cost of living is.

 “I moved back in with my parents after I graduated so I could save some money, but it took me months to find a job and when I did, the pay was nowhere near enough for me to live on my own comfortably,”  said Azouz.

Azouz majored in information technology and is currently working for Spectrum as an IT associate.

 “At this point of my career, I know I have to do the grunt work at the lower levels before I move up and I’m okay with that,” Azouz said.  

Many graduates haven’t had the opportunity to start their careers as many spend post-college experimenting in other fields to see whether they fit. Nicholas Cousins, an alumnus who graduated this May, has been spending the majority of his time dabbling through different jobs and programs to see what interests him. Majoring in creative writing, Cousins has always had a passion for writing. As he was finishing up college, Cousins had the feeling that he wanted to do more than just write and began branching out. 

“I began playing around online, looking for different programs and courses of a variety of things to see what excited me,” Cousins explained. “Over time I found a few things that excited me, but nothing that made me want to pursue full-time. When I put my mind to do something, I want to be able to give it 110%.”

Cousins resides with his parents in Brooklyn, New York, and credits this to being a big reason why he is able to try different things.

 “Financially it has been hard, especially not being able to find something in my field right away, so it’s a blessing to have my parents here helping me as I get on my feet,” Cousins said. 

Students across the country are finding themselves in a similar spot as Azouz and Cousins. The rise of inflation in the country within the past few years has only hurt young adults as they get out of college, most also facing the payments of student loans on their own. According to census.gov, only 38% of college graduates own a home. It is hard to say whether that number will rise or fall, but with the cost of rent, food, and other necessities, the search for financial stability continues. 

 

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