Art by: Kelli Laderer
Affordable housing, isn’t so affordable for young college graduates who are looking to flee the nest. Most of us want to start this new journey of adulthood so we can have our own little safe space for privacy, intimacy, all the lessons that come with adulting in your first apartment, and of course; the joy of walking around your house naked. However, the chances of enjoying these basic necessities alone are slim due to rent being so fucking expensive. In the last decade gentrification and the high cost of living in major cities like New York have changed the way people live in tremendous ways. Many of us are living at home longer than we’ve planned while others are subletting apartments with Tom, Dick, Harry and Shante. We’re literally splitting rent with people we don’t know just to have a small piece of independence. Despite costly rent and the fact that our neighborhoods are being hijacked by Becks from Iowa, all because she suddenly loves the urban feel of Brooklyn, we’re still striving for autonomy. We’re freelancing and have created multiple side hustles while also maintaining a traditional 9-5 job. Which is absolutely exhausting, but the bag has to be secured.
The pressure is being put on young adults to be patient, yet work faster and harder to get the job done. We are expected to work long hours for low pay or no pay at all. We are exploited, we are pushed to limits that sometimes benefit us, but can also be detrimental to our mental health and we are over qualified and undeserved. Yet, we are expected to understand our fucked up health care system, be financially literate, have a bomb ass credit score and look cute while doing it. The pressure society puts on us is insane. All of this stress can definitely cause frustration that may lead to self doubt. Which we can’t allow to bring us down. In those moments of defeat we have to remind ourselves of our strength, skills and resilience. Getting to the finish line won’t always be easy but it’s worth the hard work and hustle that many of us are familiar with. So, for all my young gifted black folks still striving, don’t give up on whatever dreams you have, before you know if you’ll be financially stable with a nest of your own.