[This post isn't my usual brand of funny, but I wanted to write it, soooo here it is. Also, it kind of took a lot out of me, so nothing new is going up til Friday. Also I'm linking up with yeahwrite, which I haven't done in forever! Ok, here we go.]
Let's talk about student loans. I have them. I have more than $50,000 worth of them.
Let's talk about how this happened.
Six or so years ago, I was a bright-eyed high achieving high school student who had her pick of a handful of colleges.
Like most 18 year olds, I had no idea what I wanted to do.
|Hell, I still don't know.|
But that was okay, because I was going to college to figure it out. Times were tough and my family didn't have any money to help pay for the college, so I knew I'd be financing it with student loans. But it's good debt, right?
|But if I won the lottery... (also this is what designer clothes look like, right??)|
So I chose a private school - good academics, good size, good location. It was kind of expensive, but I didn't think it really mattered.
One of the bullshit parts of student loan debt? They make it so ridiculously easy to get into. At least where I went, they pretty much figured out all the financing for you.
|Welp, sounded good to me.|
When you take out the loans, you're not told what your average monthly payment would be. And it probably wouldn't matter much if you were, because as an 18 year old with no sense of real money/expenses/being an independent adult/what you want to do in life, that number won’t mean anything to you.
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't completely uneducated on loans. I participated in all the mandatory online loan education sessions and whatnot.
It wasn't a problem; I had no intention of NOT paying my student loan - a loan is a loan. I'm a good little citizen and wasn't looking to cut out on my responsibilities. (To this day, I've never missed a loan payment.)
My time in college flew by and I graduated with honors. And also $50,000+ in student loans. Luckily, I got a job pretty soon after I graduated; it paid $30,000.
|Yes, I was super grateful for that shitty miserable job. Luckily, I now work for a place I hate way less.|
But now I'm paying roughly $500/month in loans. While my non-bachelor-degree-holding parents were traveling at my age and my friends who don't have loans get to do fancy things like own cats and pay more than $15 for a haircut, I penny pinch like crazy. It’s very hard for me to create meaningful savings or to save up for any kind of significant purchase.
Don't get me wrong, I know a lot of people have it a lot worse than I do. I work in a ghetto, I have perspective, and I know even being eligible for loans is a uniquely middle class problem. Plus, Boyfriend buys me lots of things, for which I am so very grateful.
But this still sucks.
Now that I can look back on the major, life changing decisions I made when I was barely an adult (seriously, why can 18 year olds make decisions that will affect the next 25 years of their lives!?), I realize the whole system is fucked and unfair. Colleges are money-making machines.
It drives me nuts when people say things like this:
Like a ton of my fellow students, I worked every year I was there. But the jobs only paid $7.25/hour. For me to be able to afford my insanely high tuition, I would have had to get a higher paying job. And since I have no skills (if only I was good at electricianing!), the only way I would get a higher paying job is with...a college degree.
And I really lose my cool when I hear advice like this:
|Really bitch? Really? Let's break that down.|
|I broke it down in a yelly way.|
It's very frustrating.
If you also have student loan debt too, know this:
And if you're thinking of taking out student loans to pay for college,
At the least, find the cheapest possible option and take out the fewest amount of loans possible. If you don't know what you want to do, you can take some time and figure it out before going to college. I wish someone had told me that.
And if you are a parent whose kid is approaching college age,
Seriously. Adults, schmadults. They're probably still living at home and dependent on you and have no idea what a real budget is. Just forbid them, and they'll probably listen. (Okay, okay, or see note above about doing it smartly.)
In conclusion, if I could go back in time, I would absolutely go to a cheaper school. And I'd smack my 18 year old self for being so shortsighted.
|Sorry self, you're not a whore. Just stupid. But you'll get that cat one day...|