This makes me feel lucky for both being older (college didn't put me in debt) and living in a low-cost-of-living area. Things are very rough out there for people these days.
So true. I talk to colleagues at work and they don't understand why I haven't bought a house yet. Of course they went to school before it was 15k a year. They worked through it and could actually pay for it. I worked through and still ended up with massive loans. They started earning right away while I then faced months and years of underemployement and unemployment. So yes, I make good money today, but I am still paying those loans and recovering from years of not making good money.
My wife and I don't vacation, don't eat out, don't have nice cars or gym memberships. We do what we can, and the end is in sight (to paying off our student loans and saving up for a house) but it has been a much longer journey for us than for many others.
And while her parents spent these years saving up for her college, we are spending them just trying to land.