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Completing a four-year (at least) Bachelor's degree seems like the new minimum for nearly any career nowadays. In prior generations, the necessary education barely exceeding that of a high school diploma, with some succeeding greatly by dropping out to gain experience and work to support their families. Now, it is hard for anyone with a high school diploma or equivalent to find any job that is worth their time and they are treated like they are lesser for no good reason. Ask yourself this, would you rather find a good job that you enjoy that pays you $50,000/year and have zero debt or would you rather make $75,000/year and be $250,000 in debt? That’s up to you but consider the long term effects and stress of taking out large loans because they do not always guarantee success. Personally I do not like debt, if you are constantly trying to crawl out of hole you always feel pressure. I would 100% prefer to be happy and stress free making less money each year with no debt than being someone that is unhappy, stressed out and making way more but has debt. There’s a lot more to life than money and bragging rights.
It seems as though a new cycle has grown with the evolution and expectations of college students and new college graduates. Student loans are more and more common, making student debt a real fear for those who can’t quite afford to go to college out of pocket but realize that it is now the bare minimum for most employment opportunities. Student work and assignments can be due any time of day, which exceeds the commitment time of a normal work day. Some students begin class at 8 am and have assignments due as late as midnight. Within this time they are expected to have some sort of income in addition to the stressful expectations of professors, classmates, and parents. How could you make enough money in a day while having all of the other commitments that go along with college? That’s a great question, and in most cases the answer is that you can’t. Not only are college students used to living paycheck to paycheck, some are not even able to establish a savings account. Without a savings account and having to virtually spend all of your income just to feed yourself, it is hard to come out on top once you graduate. Upon graduation students are faced with debt with interest rates that provides a uphill battle for most college graduates that sometimes takes decades to overcome.
Despite the fact that there is a huge amount of adversity facing current college students and the future generations there are definitely ways to overcome this that are listed below:
- Avoid loans that force you pay interest while you are in school.
- Find a school that you can afford. Don’t take out hundreds of thousands in loans just to justify going to an Ivy League school. Diplomas don’t always result in happiness.
- Make a plan for how long it will take you to pay off whatever debt you have and if you have to, take a break to work a little more. There is no rush to finish.
- Make connections. Networking in college is a great opportunity and usually can provide the best opportunities for jobs and advancement post-graduation. Relationships can sometimes be the most valuable and long term result of college.
- Be organized and make time for the important things first.
- Finally, don’t stress. No matter what happens throughout your life, you only have one chance. Find your happiness and set goals to rise above the negativity.
Thank you for reading.