Thursday, July 5, 2012

Student Loan Debt

I seem to always compose posts for this blog in my mind when it's least convenient to actually write my thoughts down. It must be a psychological thing, as it's pretty persistent. Maybe I don't actually want to record my thoughts? Or share them with the world? I have no idea, but whatever it is, it's darn inconvenient.

The worst part of it is that I can sit down, like write now, and remember very clearly that I was driving home on the freeway - even where we were on the freeway - when I composed this rumored post...but now I can't remember one word. Not even the subject. What on earth was I thinking about? It seemed...important. Like something I'd like to write down, think about, mull over, and perhaps consider later. Instead it's on the tip of my brain, and I'll have to content myself writing something else.

Or do I?

*Gets up, makes some toast, and when my hands are entirely full - ah hah! I seriously remembered.*

Student Loan Debt. (I just changed the post title to match)

It seems like (wonderful, wonderful "news" site that is) puts up these articles on a quarterly basis about the poor young people whose lives have been ruined by student loan debt, and then the oddball that did something astounding like paying off $100k in student loan debt in 1 year. (yes, really 1 year - as I recall he had a 6 figure salary, lived in his parent's basement, didn't have a family to support, and brought his own hip flask to bars with friends...which I think is illegal, but the point is, in the right circumstances, amazing things can happen)

And well, I read these stories aptly, because soon I will be the young(ish) person swimming in debt. The debt is piling up currently, but as I'm still in school I'm not swimming yet. More just eying the growing pool of debt warily and with growing concern.

I find it interesting to read that many young people are putting off marriage, home-buying, and babies due to their immense educational debts. While I can certainly see putting off home-buying (as that's just more debt, and not entirely necessary...there are many nice living options in the rental category), I find putting off marriage and babies more troubling. And, oddly counter to my situation. Because, you see, my student loan debt is due almost entirely to my marriage and baby. If I didn't have the husband (or hadn't had the house), and if I didn't have the child, my expense would be considerably less. So much less, that I think I would be able to manage on my meager income as an adjunct faculty and teaching assistant. Sure I'd probably eat more ramen and I'd likely have a roommate, but I don't think I'd have the student loan debt either.

And it's such a conundrum. Because it's not like baby-making can wait indefinitely. And are you really supposed to put Life on hold because you've decided to pursue upper level education? Which takes time...sometimes the prime time of your fertile years?  And if you put it off too long, but are still determined enough, you can pay just as much money (and then some!) trying to make that baby in your later years. So then what is the point?

Basically, I don't know what the answer is, but I know I do not like this situation. For anyone. Least of all myself (because it's always about "me," isn't it?). And I don't understand it. I have worked, usually multiple jobs, my entire student career. Well, okay, during my freshman year I didn't have a job - but the summer between Freshman and Sophomore year I had a full time job. And from then on I at least worked part-time...all the way up until now, when I'm juggling 2-3 jobs each summer, and 1-2 jobs during the regular school year. And yet...I still have a mountain of debt piling up. Wanna know the kicker? I have been going to school (college-school) for...gawd this is going to be a scary number...10 years. Phew! Of those 10, I have paid for exactly 1 year of tuition. The first 4 years of my undergraduate (I did the 5-year plan) I had a scholarship for my tuition. All of my graduate years (whew, going on 6!) - tuition paid for. Which means...basically, all but about $8k of my debt is living expense. And books and fees.


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About this Blog

I have a journal. You know, the real kind...paper, bound in a book form...nice leather cover. And I do write in it...every few months. I like it, but somehow I find it hard to keep up regularly. I'm at a computer nearly all the time, so I find it easier to keep up on this blog. So, that's what this blog is for. To help me journal when I'm away from my journal. A place to collect my thoughts before I lose them to the chaos of my mind.

Or see my first post here. That's why I started this blog.