Damon Casarez’s Poignant-Yet-Hopeful Photos Of Moving Back Home After College Because Of Debt

Mikey Billings, 29, Statesville, N.C. Degree: B.A., Film studies, Full Sail University Career Goal: Film or music industry Current Job: Working part time at a malt shop Student Loans: $80,000

Mikey Billings, 29, Statesville, N.C.
Degree: B.A., Film studies, Full Sail University
Career Goal: Film or music industry
Current Job: Working part time at a malt shop
Student Loans: $80,000

Annie Kasinecz, 27, Downers Grove, Ill. Degree: B.A., Advertising and public relations, Loyola University, Chicago Student Loans: $75,000

Annie Kasinecz, 27, Downers Grove, Ill.
Degree: B.A., Advertising and public relations, Loyola University, Chicago
Student Loans: $75,000

Monica Navarro, 24, Escondido, Calif. Degree: B.A., Literature and writing, University of California, San Diego.  Career Goal: Librarian  Current Job: Library volunteer, Home Depot Worker Student Loans: $44,000

Monica Navarro, 24, Escondido, Calif.
Degree: B.A., Literature and writing, University of California, San Diego.
Career Goal: Librarian
Current Job: Library volunteer, Home Depot Worker
Student Loans: $44,000

Gabriel Gonzalez, 22, Suffern, N.Y. Degree: B.F.A., Graphic design, School of Visual Arts Career goal: Graphic designer Current job: Graphic designer and production assistant Student Loans: $130,000

Gabriel Gonzalez, 22, Suffern, N.Y.
Degree: B.F.A., Graphic design, School of Visual Arts
Career goal: Graphic designer
Current job: Graphic designer and production assistant
Student Loans: $130,000

In today’s economy, it’s not uncommon for recent college graduates to move back home with their parents. According to The New York Times Magazine, 1 in 5 people in their 20’s and early 30’s find themselves in this particular situation. The phenomena is fodder for photographer Damon Casarez’s recent series Boomerang Kids, which was shot in eight states and over 14 cities. His poignant images paint portraits not of people who are lazy, but those who have massive student debt, or see their current situation as a means to achieving their own American Dream. They exist in a strange limbo where they’ve grown up but still aren’t entirely self-sufficient adults.

Even for those not living at home, this series might resonate with you on some level. Student loans and a general high cost of living can make anyone feel like it’s hard to make the ends meet. After all the possibilities offered in college, the real world is generally not as kind. But, these images don’t feel hopeless; they feel hopeful and demonstrate the changing landscape of growing up. (Via Feature Shoot)

Robert Shane Ellis, 29, Alhambra, Calif. Degree: B.A., Asian humanities, University of California, Los Angeles Career goal: Film director or actor Current job: Looking for voice-over work; recently enrolled in an M.F.A. program Student Loans: $10,000

Robert Shane Ellis, 29, Alhambra, Calif.
Degree: B.A., Asian humanities, University of California, Los Angeles
Career goal: Film director or actor
Current job: Looking for voice-over work; recently enrolled in an M.F.A. program
Student Loans: $10,000

Jessica Meyer, 23, Pacifica, Calif. Degree: B.A., Art history, Sonoma State University Career goal: Veterinarian Current job: Veterinary assistant Student Loans: $27,000

Jessica Meyer, 23, Pacifica, Calif.
Degree: B.A., Art history, Sonoma State University
Career goal: Veterinarian
Current job: Veterinary assistant
Student Loans: $27,000

Ashley Chang, 25, Queens Degree: B.A., Comparative literature, Hamilton College Career goal: Digital media manager Current job: Digital-media analyst Student Loans: $20,000

Ashley Chang, 25, Queens
Degree: B.A., Comparative literature, Hamilton College
Career goal: Digital media manager
Current job: Digital-media analyst
Student Loans: $20,000

Eric Curran, 23, Wahoo, Nebr. Degree: B.A., history and religion, Midland University Career goal: Professor of Lutheran theology or history professor Current job: Education assistant at local public schools Student Loans: $11,000

Eric Curran, 23, Wahoo, Nebr.
Degree: B.A., history and religion, Midland University
Career goal: Professor of Lutheran theology or history professor
Current job: Education assistant at local public schools
Student Loans: $11,000

Ari Hoque, 22, Brooklyn Degree: B.A., Economics, Hunter College Career goal: Banker Current job: Rental-car-company worker Student Loans: $12,000

Ari Hoque, 22, Brooklyn
Degree: B.A., Economics, Hunter College
Career goal: Banker
Current job: Rental-car-company worker
Student Loans: $12,000

Adrianne Smith, 28, Seminole, Fla. Degree: B.A., Psychology, University of Central Florida; M.S., Counseling, Nova Southeasern University Career goal: Expanding her business Current job: Entrepreneur and therapist (whose clients include autistic children) Student Loans: $40,000 (for graduate school)

Adrianne Smith, 28, Seminole, Fla.
Degree: B.A., Psychology, University of Central Florida; M.S., Counseling, Nova Southeasern University
Career goal: Expanding her business
Current job: Entrepreneur and therapist (whose clients include autistic children)
Student Loans: $40,000 (for graduate school)

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