Friday, September 30, 2011

Looking at Scholastic Debt

I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that my family’s primary concern regarding me is how I’m going to earn money. That’s the typical thing to think: money drives the world. If you don’t have money, you don’t have life. My father refers to our family as upper middle class, but at this point, the only thing I can say to that is, “what family?” We’re all old enough to make our own money and rent our own homes and take out our own monumental student loans that we’ll be paying off for the next 40 years.

I wonder, why don’t they take debt into account when deciding what class you are? I’m talking social class, not school class. If you “own” your house and car but have only paid off a month on each, then you really aren’t so rich after all, since most of those belongings would go to the bank if you sat in stasis.

Students would be the lowest of the low, which isn’t too different from what we have now. A $40,000 in-debt student would be lower than a homeless guy who’s simply flat broke.

Many students don’t take into account the ‘tie-down’ factor when they start school; once they acquire the first year of debt, they have to see schooling all the way through. Not just through the school year, though, through the job that’ll pay off the school. And once they’re into that domesticated kind of life, where work is reliable and steady, a pattern of living that’s classified typically as the “middle class suburb worker,” they’ll need certain amenities, such as a car, and spending money (so you don’t go crazy at your lame job with the idiot boss and slacker coworkers). Then, you meet someone and before you know it you’re locked down into something else!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming “the system” for this. While I don’t entirely believe in Tabula Rasa, I firmly believe in the U.S. Constitution’s implication that each person decides for themselves what their actions are (even if some actions are decided subconsciously), and can thus be held responsible for them. I’m also not saying that a middle class life is undesirable. If that is what a person aspires for, then they are welcome to it. I am a little dubious, however, that a person can possibly know that’s the life they want so early on. It seems more likely to me that they consider a more fanciful lifestyle unrealistic due to their debt.

The flaw lies in that you can’t make decisions off of things you don’t know. Debt is typically separated from the “good stuff” of college. When you pick your major, there’s no sheet given to you that says you’ll spend twenty years paying off your debt at the average salary of your major. The result is the current scenario: modern day students don’t even consider how they’re locking themselves into their future by taking on this burden.

No comments:

Post a Comment