The U.S. inflation rate for 2022 was 8%, an increase from 4.7% in 2021, according to the Pew Research Center, and surging even higher in 2023. The impacts of rising inflation can severely affect the average person.
Graduating college is a giant leap into adulthood and experiencing this vast life event during inflation adds another level to the complexity of the next chapter in a student’s life.
Finding a job after graduating college has never been the easiest task. The number of opportunities can be high or low depending on the type of job and the state of industries. When inflation has a negative impact, job growth will be slower and there will be a higher number of unemployed workers.
“The economy runs in cycles, so periods of inflation are usually followed by periods of disinflation or decreasing prices,” said Dr. Adele Harrison, professor of finance.
Even though it is a normal part of the economy, it still can be nerve-racking to experience inflation.
“Inflation does at times stress me out when [I’m] thinking of how I am going to support myself once I’m done with school,” said Brianna Pulido, freshman social work major.
However, there are things students can do to lower the stress of inflation. One good tip for undergraduates is to become more knowledgeable about finances now. There are no downsides to taking the time to build skills such as budgeting and saving.
“The biggest thing a new graduate could do to help manage this cycle is to set up their spending plan to have some margin and build some savings,” Harrison said
Khloe Lemon, freshman kinesiology major, said that she is trying to see what else the effects of inflation may reveal in her life.
“I try not to stress because whatever opportunity that God presents me with is all a part of his plan,” Lemon said.
Harrison understood the pressure inflation can introduce into students’ lives as they work to establish their finances, housing and more. She offered a Bible verse, 1 Peter 5:7: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
“Your first job out of college is just a starting place,” Harrison said. “God can do so much when we surrender our little struggles into his care.”