With student-loan debt being featured in the media so prominently lately, I know that you’ve all been dying to hear my perspective. So here it is: quit bitching.
And lest you assume that I’m some spoiled brat who had mommy and daddy pay for school, keep in mind that I finished college with over $110,000 in student-loan debt. That costs me $600 a month, and it would cost me more if I weren’t on the income-based repayment plan. One more thing before we go any further: none of this applies to victims of predatory lending practices.
So why aren’t I the poster child for the student-loan crisis? (And it is a crisis.) Because I took on that debt of my own free will. I wasn’t forced to go to a school that cost $40,000 a year, nor was I tricked into borrowing the money to pay for it. And while I didn’t know exactly what I was getting myself into regarding repayment, I was certainly capable of finding out.
Is college too expensive? Yes. But we’re free to go to a less expensive school or to forgo college entirely. Once I realized that I had made a mistake in choosing St. Joe’s, I transferred to a much less expensive school. A school I could have attended from the beginning but chose not to.
Is it hard to find a good job without a degree? Yes (depending on what you want to do), but you still had a choice: borrow money to earn a degree that qualifies you for a certain career, or settle for a different career. “But I don’t want to settle for a job I don’t love.” Life ain’t fair, my friend. As my man Ben Franklin said, the only guarantees in life are death and taxes; he didn’t say anything about finding a fulfilling career.
I’m not happy with the choice I made regarding college. But I can’t blame anyone else for that choice. I wanted to further my education, and that was the trade-off.
All that being said, I’ll be first in line for loan forgiveness as soon as I’m eligible. I’m not opposed to lightening the burden of student-loan debt, but I’m not going to cry about that burden when I willingly put it on my own shoulders.