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'I Still Don't Feel Like I've Entered The Real World'
Halley Pucker and Dana Gerber-Margie
Madison, WI
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Halley Pucker and Dana Gerber-Margie

Friends Halley Pucker and Dana Gerber-Margie graduated from college during the recession, and are still feeling financially strained. 

"I couldn't find stable, full-time work with benefits," Gerber-Margie said. "I cobbled together five part-time jobs and then I listened as old people told me I didn't work hard enough." 

Both now have jobs, but still face financial uncertainty. 

"I still don't feel like I've entered the real world," Pucker said, adding that her student loan debt is keeping her from feeling financially stable. She said approximately half of her income each month goes to paying those loans.

"I live by the calendar to a scary amount," she said. "I know on the 22nd this $400 loan is due, on the 28th this one is due ... I'm never not thinking about money."

"I can vote for people who think and feel similarly to me even if I feel a little cynical ... a lot cynical about our democracy," Gerber-Margie said.

Pucker and Gerber-Margie, both 31, plan to vote in this fall's elections. 

"I can vote for people who think and feel similarly to me even if I feel a little cynical...a lot cynical about our democracy," Gerber-Margie said. 

For Pucker, the most important issue this election season is health care. Last fall, she was hit by an SUV while she was biking home. She was thrown onto the sidewalk, bruised and bleeding. 

When the paramedics came, they recommended that she be taken to the emergency room, but she was worried about the cost. 

"All I could think was 'what's my copay to go to the emergency room?' and 'How much does an ambulance ride cost?'" she said. 

Pucker said she would like to see a shift to a single-payer heath care system.

"No one should be hurt or sick and worry about what it's going to cost," she said. 

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