Even though Christmas is on Saturday, I honestly couldn’t care less this year. With everyone around me so happy and festive, I feel like the odd-woman-out. However, I think I have a decent excuse. Instead of “Jingle Bell Rock” in my head and busy days spent shopping at the mall, I’m singing the Student Loan Blues while staring at my empty bank account.
Ugh. Student loans.
If you graduated last spring and have student loans, you probably feel the same way I do right now considering our loan repayment grace period is over: in over your head! Although I knew this reality was coming, I guess I never thought it would hit me this hard and scare me this much. And I’ll be the first to say, I’m scared that these loans I had to take out to go to college will ruin the rest of my life.
Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit much, but right now, they certainly feel like they are taking hold of my entire life. In order to make payments so I’m in good standing with the lenders, I had to dish out the cash this month to get my payment record off to a good start. And boy, has it hurt. Christmas presents? Yeah … no one I know will be getting one from me. Not even the homemade variety. Will I be getting to see my boyfriend anytime soon? Nope, I don’t have the cash to pay for a plane ticket (ugh, another lovely benefit of being in a long-distance relationship). I can’t help but wonder “Will I ever have money again?”
Now, I probably sound like a Debbie downer, but it’s easy to feel downtrodden and stressed when it seems like you have a whole life ahead of you … centered around owing someone a ton of money. However, I do keep telling myself that one day my college degree will pay off … so maybe it wasn’t a terrible thing after all? Maybe?
This is where I keep my fingers crossed.
See, I couldn’t have gone to college without student loans. It wouldn’t have been possible for me – regardless of what school I attended or what I studied. And while I went to college to try and better myself, I feel like these loans are setting me back. How can I get ahead with this constantly looming over my head? And how am I supposed to embrace law school – with even MORE loans – when I have yet to pay off these ones?
Everyone has their own stance on student loans. Some people want pity and make websites where people can donate money to them. Some people work three jobs. Others default and don’t care about the consequences. Some live with their parents until they are 35. While I went to college not to become a statistic, I can’t help but worry about what the future may hold in the adult world of credit scores, repayments, and financial responsibility. Will I be living here with my dad forever? Will I be one of those people who has debt collectors knocking down her door?
But none of that really matters because what’s done is done. I took out the loans and now, unfortunately, I have to pay them back. Every month. For a long while. It sure sucks, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out like every post-grad with loans before me and the many more that are in the same boat as me now.
At least, that’s what I’m telling myself as the statements begin to pour in….
So Santa, if you’re reading, you could cut me a check for Christmas and pay all the loans back. You know, if you feel generous. I promise I’ve been a very good girl this year. This could make up for all those years I wanted a puppy and never got one. Think of it as a Christmas miracle!