As i was poring over the responses to my most recent post on student loans, I started to vent. I can’t tell you how upset I was with the prospect of student loans, and i was never able to form a complete argument over why I think they’re more of a hindrance than a help.
Let me get this straight: as young adults, we’re expected to gain an education, and if we cannot afford said education to propel ourselves (and vicariously, our society) forward, we are given two choices: (a) avoid higher education, or (b) weigh ourselves down with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt before we’ve even had a chance to see whether or not our higher education was actually worth the price of admission.
Didn’t seem very fair to me then – and it doesn’t seem very fair to me now. I’m not saying that all educational costs aren’t justified, but isn’t America shooting itself in the foot with this increasingly self-destructive system? I was lucky – I found a NON-TRADITIONAL way to pay off my student loans (and even then, after forking over several thousand in excess interest). I barely knew anything about what I wanted to be when “I grew up” – let alone, the ins and outs of credit.
I wouldn’t trade my education for the world – but I will say that we’re not living a “free” society if we don’t give every single mind the opportunity to be shaped without the fear and stress of debt. It’s bad enough we have credit card companies preying on underinformed citizens – are the student loan organizations and the institutions which enable them equally as sociopathic? And before you dismiss this accusation as unfounded, let me remind you of the definition of a sociopath. According to The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Edited:
Sociopaths are interested only in their personal needs and desires, without concern for the effects of their behavior on others.
We’re not helping our society grow by imposing debt on those who would help it flourish – we’re handing it the disease and charging for the cure. Feh.