I live in the US.
I used to play music every day. I used to skate almost every day. I used to surf TWO times a day. I used to write songs and poetry. I used to contemplate the cosmos and reality and come up with fun projects with friends. I used to garden. I used to spend more time with my pets.
Now I work.
I work and stress so hard that I wear myself out, drink too much to "help me sleep", still stay up stressing about my job - how I can improve my standing, and stress about needing to do side projects to supplement my income AND stress that I don't do any of the fun things I used to do.
This is all to be able to afford a living space and ensure that if a disaster (personal or natural) happens I won't be completely screwed.
Any friends that did have loans are still paying them off. I have been fortunate enough (and diligent enough) to pay off all my loans, but I had to ditch my hopes and dreams.
Will I ever be able to afford a decent house in a metropolitan area? No. Will I ever do the things that used to make be happy? I don't see how. Will I ever be truly happy? I have no idea.
Is anyone else in this situation? What are you doing to mitigate? Moving to a more affordable area (leaving friends and family)? Are you learning a new trade to up your financial standing? Are you as bummed out as I am that we have to work so hard just for a mediocre standard of living?