At 18 years old, I thought I had the world in the palm of my hand. I had just gotten my student loans and it was the first weeks of college. The money covered my dorm, meal plan, books and school supplies. I was set. I came to welcome the student loan deposit that would enter my account each semester. It was a guarantee that I could finish my degree and enjoy myself while doing it.
Needless to say, I had the best time in college. I worked, so although I didn’t have beaucoups of money, I was comfortable. I was a part of a sorority, I went to parties, I went out downtown, kept my closet stocked full of game day clothes, ate out all the time, the list goes on and on. I was in a false sense of security. Although I knew I’d have to pay my loans back, I had no idea that when I got those loans, I was signing my life away.
Here I am… a year and a half out of college and giving all of my money each month to pay for the great time I had for four years. They gouge you, you know. You aren’t just paying what you borrowed, you’re paying anywhere from 5-10% interest on each loan. Not to mention, going through school I always thought I was developing one large loan that I would pay one payment on each month. I didn’t get that each time it was a different loan and they all had to be paid separately in large amounts. Of course, I have consolidated my loans down, but I still make three different very large payments.
You know what’s crazy about it is that most of the time you’re just paying the interest and a tiny bit on the loan, so you really feel like you’re not getting anywhere. It blows my mind that each month, I pay more in student loan bills than I do on my rent and utilities combined. Doesn’t that seem ridiculous?
I went through school thinking I would come out in greener pastures and be able to make money to spend on things I need, like a car that doesn’t need a thousand repairs or a professional wardrobe for work, but instead I’m sitting here paying back all of the books, meals, living arrangements, etc. that I needed in college. So I find myself thinking… was it worth it? I quickly retort back and am like “heck yes, going to UGA was the best decision and experience I ever had and it was worth every penny”, but each time I get the bill email telling me what I need to pay, I feel myself get a little sick inside.
I’ve read online that college graduates have more debt than ever before. For me, luckily, I’m making it along, but others are drowning in it. Everyone mentions, “but doesn’t Obama offer something for loan forgiveness?” Humor me and take a look into it. You’ll find that it’s for military people who have been paying their loans for 20 years or more. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to provide that to them, but man, you’d think after 20 years they’d be done. It makes my skin crawl thinking I could be about to send my kids to college and still paying for my education 20 years ago. Is anyone else in this boat or is it just me?
The struggle is real y’all.
C’est la vie,