…owever, in the midst of an existential crisis, the promise of a new life was incredibly attractive. I wasn’t making more than maybe $22,000 a year. I was in pain, I was exhausted, and I needed something to change. When I saw a fully online graduate program from a truly good school, I ran straight to the FAFSA. I was convinced that I’d pay off the program within two years of graduating.
Many of us, myself included, have fallen prey to the siren song of the college scam. I have two (essentially useless) stems degrees. Useless because they made no impact whatsoever on my income - other than what I paid out in student loans after. Which was about the cost of a car payment every month. I wish now I had spent my time and money cultivating my passions - like writing - and less on buying into the same scam we're all told.
"Get out of high school. Go to college. Get (any) degree. Get a better paying job."
Instead, we go to college. Get a degree or two and find when you get out the only options you have are to go further into debt with yet more college or give up and repay your loans. I was just trying to eke out a better life; trying to find a way to make more money and get out. I was working full-time while going to college. I was also under the thumb of years of domestic abuse. I was barely making it; both physically, financially, and emotionally.
Bitterly realizing how scammed I'd been, I was done. Years of my life, thousands of dollars, hundreds of wasted hours, and I had nothing to show for it other than 2 very expensive pieces of paper. And yeah, I repaid all of my loans on my own. Sacrificed a lot to do it too. Overpaid every month, and shaved off a few years of interest. I took the responsibility; accepting I had taken out the money and I needed to repay it.
Ultimately, I learned more outside of college; reading, personal online learning, doing crosswords than I ever did in college. I wish now I had taken the less popular route and just focused on my craft or picked up a blue-collar trade. Less about what everyone else was doing to get ahead.
Thank you for sharing your experience. Many of us here can totally relate.