I found myself confronted with a choice that too many people have had to and will have to face. I could give up what had become my vocation (in my case, being a writer) and take a job that I didn’t want in order to repay the huge debt I had accumulated in college and graduate school. Or I could take what I had been led to believe was both the morally and legally reprehensible step of defaulting on my student loans, which was the only way I could survive without wasting my life in a job that had nothing to do with my particular usefulness to society. I chose life. That is to say, I defaulted on my student loans.


    I could survive without wasting my life in a job that had nothing to do with my particular usefulness to society.

    I chose life. That is to say, I defaulted on my student loans.

Oh my, well aren't we precious and special, far too special to pay back the money that we borrowed, and to "waste our lives" doing something that isn't our specially chosen specially snowflake Profession of Choice - and of course, not working in that Profession of Choice would, absolutely, totally, kill us, wouldn't it?

WHILE I AGREE that student loans and student loan debt are huge problems facing the youth in America today, and I am in fact one of those people, I find myself still waking up alive each day to go to my job at a Big Evil Corporate Bank despite my dreams of being a writer, so I would like to know what makes this author so specially-special that a "Real Job(TM)" is such anathema to them, such poison to their special sensitive disposition, that they could not manage it. - By the way guys - check it out - with that Real Job, I also have this crazy nifty thing called a Real 401(k)! It's fun when following your dream means barely NOT making enough money now (if you can't pay your debts, you're not making enough money) and certainly never having enough for the future. Innit?

Maybe they didn't respond well to management.

    It struck me as absurd that one could amass crippling debt as a result, not of drug addiction or reckless borrowing and spending, but of going to college.

Oh, boy. Wait til this author gets into medical debt. Or car debt. Or house debt. Did you know that debt isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is a thing that happens to people? And most of those people didn't think they were being irresponsible when they got into it, and most people thought whatever they were paying for was a Good and Necessary Thing?

Actually, here's a thought.

Wait til this author realizes that sometimes, some things kind of suck, but that doesn't mean you can just quit them.

    Someone with character would have paid off those loans and let the chips fall where they may. But I have found, after some decades on this earth, that the road to character is often paved with family money and family connections, not to mention 14 percent effective tax rates on seven-figure incomes.

Oh. Well fuck you too. I have a five figure income. I just happen to only have a reasonable amount of student debt (in-state tuition anyone? finished college in 3 years - in part to avoid additional debt?). But that's not because anyone I'm related to is a millionaire and it's not because my family paid for my college. I didn't get my student loans paid off through some mysterious "family connection" either. I'm still paying them off. And I will continue to do so. Until they're done.

God, sacrificing your nonpaying but TOTALLY ESSENTIAL dream career just looks like blood splattered all over an altar, doesn't it? It just feels horrible too, having an extra couple hundred I can burn each month, after I pay all my obligations and then some.

Trust me, I can barely type for all the soul-crushing.

posted by NotPhil: 1296 days ago