I quit my full-time office job to go back to University and get a degree. Being an intelligent and logical grown adult, I did this with no research whatsoever. I took out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, switched majors a few times, and only worked on-campus jobs. Basically, I screwed myself. There’s no one I can blame for that but me. At my age, I should’ve known better. I was in my mid-twenties and going back to school full time. I was considered a “mature student”, and really should’ve been one.
Thing is, I wasn’t alone in all this. I was never the oldest student in the class, or at a frat party. I knew people in their 20s and 30s living off the student loan diet of ramen topped with whatever was free on campus. We did what all the other students around us were doing. We partied, we crammed, we pulled all-nighters, and we worked our asses off. We weren’t the older, mature crowd that younger students could look up to. These kids just got out of high school, where they were groomed to go on to higher learning. Hell, a lot of us were looking up to them for advice!
I was right in there with them and realized just how similar we all were. In the end, the majority of us had a ridiculous amount of student loans. Most people picked majors based on a job they were working their asses off towards, one that they thought they could get once they had that degree, but one that most wouldn’t get because of the ridiculous amount of competition. We wound up cashiers, customer service reps, in call centers and cubical mazes. We wound up in jobs that didn’t require the education we had, looking at job ads for the jobs our education qualified us for and seeing “must have 5 years experience” in an entry level job ad. We can write 20-page papers with ease, handle more stress than is healthy on a regular basis, run statistical regressions blindfolded, rattle off sociological theories and the parts of the brain and the periodic table. And still, here we are.
Most of us have had to teach ourselves the things that make us marketable. Resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn, networking, social media……. I am surrounded by people who can’t work a budget, or pay their bills on time. I’m drowning in student loan debt, and credit card debt from having to survive on a measly 4 hours a week at work for a while. I live with random roommates in a house I love because I’m too broke to buy the damn house myself. I’m a 35-year-old grown ass child, pretty much, and it’s driving me crazy.
Why am I telling you this? So that you don’t end up like me. I can’t go back and change any of my decisions, but maybe I can help you with yours. If you can’t be a good example, be a terrible warning, right? Maybe seeing my mistakes can help you avoid yours. Maybe hearing a little of what I’ve learned will help you make better choices. Maybe seeing me type my way through a panic attack will help you better handle your own. Or maybe I’m just talking out of my ass, into the nothingess in the void of the internet.
Either way, here’s my blog Sunshine. I hope you enjoy it.