Inflation: College Graduates Emerging into Adulthood

Kaitlyn Anderson, a third-year student at Texas State, said she worries for what comes after college. As a digital and online media major, she feels that she will be most successful moving to a city. However, recent inflation has affected cities the most.

According to KXAN, “The consumer price index, which tracks changes in consumer prices, rose 8.6% over the last year.” The greatest increase was seen in housing sectors. As college students are graduating, they are struggling to find affordable ways to live.

  1. Housing

The average cost of rent in Austin is about $1,826 per month. Finding an apartment under or around $700 per month is rare. Rent in the apartments downtown ranges from $3,000-$4,000. The average individual income in Austin is $41,242, which ends up being about $3,436 each month. This only leaves $1,000 a month for some people, which most likely will be spent on bills or groceries.

2. Gas Prices

A possible solution to find affordable housing, for some, is to move outside of the city into nearby towns. A large group of commuters live in Kyle, Round Rock, and even as far as San Marcos. For many people this allows more freedom in their budget. However, in this case, one has to think about the continual rise of gas prices. In the past few months, gas has raised about 4.6 cents per gallon, resulting in an average of $3.16 per gallon. Therefore, a medium-sized car costs around $50 or more for a full tank of gas. For many, these prices quickly add up, resulting in difficulties getting to and from work on a daily basis.

3. Air Fare

Studies have proven that traveling improves mental health and can reduce stress and anxiety. During and after COVID-19, mental health plummeted for many people. Now that the world has opened up again, airports are being flooded by masses of people trying to travel. Whether that’s to see family, for work, or just to take a break, everyone is buying plane tickets. As a result of this, prices for tickets have skyrocketed. Similar to gas prices, it now costs more to fuel the planes, which in turn causes a rise in ticket prices. For an average Austin dweller, after paying rent, filling up their car, paying the bills, and buying groceries, there is not much left for air fare. Many are unable to visit family because of the results of inflation in the city.

The results of inflation tend to last quite a while, with no end in sight. College students who graduate and are pushed out into the world at a time like this struggle. The stereotype of the broke college student is often times true, meaning most students are not able to save much while still in school. Once they graduate, they must find a job, and possibly move to fulfill the job’s requirements. For most, any amount of savings will not be enough to sustain themselves in big cities, such as Austin. As a result, they move in with family, friends, or end up homeless. The homeless population in Austin in a single day is estimated to be about 4,022.

Dani Oldham, a senior at Texas State University, talks about her concerns for a future after graduation.

Some students are stuck on how to go about finding a job that suits their needs and their wants. At Texas State University, Career Services offer help with networking, job interviews, etc. Mason Murphy, a career counselor, offers plenty of ways to find a job that works well for every student.

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