Sabrina Sullenberger, an Indiana University professor whose research focuses on issues of poverty, recently asked her class of seniors what they thought of the recession. What has it meant for them?
Their responses were quick and direct, she recounted in an email.
“They found it harder to find summer employment because they were competing with a lot more people for jobs ... (and) some employers reduced their seasonal hires. Many had families who had planned to pay for college, or part of college, but because of loss of income, home equity, etc., the parents weren’t able to pay as much and so students have taken out more in loans.
“They noted that people of all ages were changing plans for the future, such as their parents were planning to work longer rather than retire, and some students were changing their minds about what to do after graduation.” One, despite suffering from student burnout, would go to graduate school just to escape the gloomy job market. Another was going in the opposite direction, delaying grad school to work “because he wants to earn some money before incurring more debt.”
“Finally, one student just summed it up by saying that she had ‘fear and anxiety’ about the future based on the recent recession, and she realized there were no guarantees,” Sullenberger wrote.