“I feel sorry for young folks these days, entering this job market saddled with these enormous student loans...”

English Lesson: I feel sorry for young folks these days, entering this job market saddled with these enormous student loans...

You're having a conversation with a friend about the difficult economy. It's difficult to find a job now and the cost of university tuition is very high. You comment on how hard it is for young people.

I feel sorry for young folks these days, entering this job market saddled with these enormous student loans...

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these days

"These days" means "recently". But "recently" is used to talk about things that have happened over the last few weeks or months. "These days" is a longer time period, usually from the last 6 months to the last 20-30 years. You use "these days" to talk about major changes in your life or in society.

I don't watch much TV these days.

Kids these days don't even remember what life was like before mobile phones and the Internet.

It's getting harder and harder to earn a living as a photographer these days.

student loans

When people study at a college or university, they sometimes need to borrow money to pay for their tuition. Banks offer special loans for students which the students can pay off after they've graduated from school. These loans are called "student loans".

(something) is enormous

"Enormous" means "very, very, big". Here are some things that you can describe as "enormous":

an enormous amount of money

an enormous explosion

enormous potential

an enormous responsibility

I feel sorry for (someone)

"Feeling sorry for" someone means that you feel bad because they feel bad, or because they're in a difficult situation.

For example, you can "feel sorry for" a person who:

  • was just broken up with by a boyfriend or girlfriend
  • got fired
  • has never had a chance to eat your favorite dish

and so on.

Grammatically, you can use this phrase in these ways:

I feel sorry for them.

I feel sorry for them having to work so late.

young folks

"Folks" means "people". It's a casual phrase, used especially by older people and people from the country.

"Young folks" is a common combination which means people who are younger than the speaker (but usually not babies, toddlers, or young children).

enter the job market

When a person starts looking for a job, they are "entering the job market". People usually enter the job market when they graduate from school.

The "job market" is all of the activity connected to people looking for jobs and businesses looking for employees.

(someone) is saddled with (debt)

A creative way to say that someone owes a lot of money is to describe them as "saddled with debt".

A "saddle" is a seat that you put on a horse's back so that a person can ride the horse. So being "saddled" with debt is like having something heavy on your back. It sounds tiring.