I once had so much more than this.

I once had dreams, until it seemed I couldn’t afford them anymore. I had hopes to become a nurse, to get a degree, to learn… until I couldn’t afford it anymore. I once had ambition, until ambition had a monthly price. I once had the whole world in front of me, until that door was slammed closed with payments I couldn’t afford. So what is one to do when you once had it all but now it seems having anything is too expensive to ever think of having again?

 

I started college at seventeen and like most people starting college at that age I had to take out student loans. Unfortunately the loans were never enough to completely cover tuition and books so there came a point where school had to be put on hold. It seemed impossible for me to be able to work full time for a measly paycheck to pay for rent and food and gas and bills and then to add school costs to the mix. I was blind sided. Six months went by and lo and behold it’s time to pay those loans. I tried to pay but they always seem to ask for way more than one can afford. So I said hey well why don’t I just try to do a payment plan with the school instead of taking out more loans and then I could be in school and defer them for a few years. Well of course that seems like a great idea until you figure out the price of tuition. However, you suck it up, work overtime and struggle to stay in school. It works out for the first payment, and then the second payment comes. Now what? You are forced to drop out. 

America seems to pride itself on its education. What I don’t understand is how you can pride yourself on something you make nearly impossible for most living in this nation. 

I put my dreams on hold and started my life. I became employed full time at a hospital. I got married. I had a baby. Meanwhile, all my lost dreams remained just that… dreams. Figments of my imagination always sitting in the back of my head, never to come to reality. At the rate I’m going that’s all they will ever be.

So what is one to do when life is more than you can afford?

Well, in Scandinavia they have amazing universities that charge nothing for your education. No tuition at all. Can you believe that? I can get an education for free? A country who prides itself on its education rather than its dollar? Or how about Hong Kong who offers some of the most inexpensive tuition costs? What am I missing here living in America, the greatest country in the world? I believe it must be the “great” that I am missing from that sentence. 

Now I haven’t been able to pay one of my loans for some time. They started out wanting about $350 a month. Well that was impossible and now they say I can pay $150 but no lower. So what do I do? Sacrifice food on my table? Sacrifice my electric? My daughters diapers? Sell my car so I have to PAY to find a way to work and to the store and to doctors appointments? 

 

How is one to live in such a “great” country with such “great” cost to living and breathing and learning?

I’m not so sure I can.

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8 thoughts on “I once had so much more than this.

  1. When I was a kid, my parents who were never anything other than middle class, were able to put three of their four kids through college. They didn’t have to borrow a dime to do so. At one point, because only five years separated oldest from youngest and the oldest took five years to complete his degree, all four of us were in college at the same time. And they were able to pay for it. Without borrowing a dime. I have two kids and make almost $150,000 and I can’t figure out how I’m going to send my two kids to a public university.

    The increased cost of a decent college education in this country is one of the most disgusting things that has happened over the past 20-30 years and it is one of the reasons why our country is becoming less competitive and productive.

      1. My parents paid for my undergrad degree. Law school as on me. I graduated from law school in 1993 … and still owe $30,000.

        My oldest son will most likely graduate from college with about $40,000-50,000 in debt. He just doesn’t realize it yet. No idea what will happen with my youngest. He may spend a couple of years at a junior college before transferring to a university. If he does that, he may very well end up with very little debt.

      2. Yes … I stayed home and went to college. Didn’t move out until my last semester. I wanted my boys to have the opportunity to go away to school. The opportunity I didn’t take. For my oldest, that was really important. He may be paying for that for some time. With my youngest, leaving home isn’t quite as important and he wants to go to a university he won’t get into out of high school because of his grades. But if he goes to a community college and does well, he may make it there after a year or two. So, we’ll see.

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