Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm sorry, but...

No one held a gun to my head and made me take out student loans. In fact, going to a private college was my choice when public universities wanted me to go for considerably cheaper. I understood that I was going to be paying on those loans for a long time after I graduated--and I chose to sign my name anyway. I could have gone to a public school, 2-year, or 4-year. I would have had less debt. But I didn't. This decision had many consequences:

1. I didn't drop out of school when it got hard. I knew I needed to see a return on my investment.

2. I worked at least two jobs all through college, until my senior year when I could only contractually work the one.

3. I valued all aspects of my schooling more, because I was paying for it. I didn't waste meals on my meal plan, and I didn't blow money on stupid stuff. I didn't party, and I didn't join a cost-prohibitive sorority.

4. I spent two years working for AmeriCorps, away from the man I was going to marry, getting my feet wet in the field of education, with the bonus of an education credit to use toward my loans or toward graduate school (I used it for both). I worked extra jobs on top of my 50 hours a week of volunteer-work, not because I *had* to, but because I wanted to. I knew that I had to make a dent in my debt-load at age 21. And I did.

5. I paid double payments on my loans from the very beginning of repayment, even when I only made $700/month. When we got married and joined our finances, this was a non-negotiable. Double payments. And so, within seven years of finishing my master's degree, I was rid of those dang loans. Thirteen years early. Because that is what I CHOSE to do. I could have spent that extra payment-worth of money buying lots of stuff that the Jones' have, but I DIDN'T.

This whole Occupy Whatever seems to be a lot of blame-shifting. Yes, there's corruption in government, but I'm going to share a secret with you. Shhh.. Don't tell anyone: The government is PEOPLE!! It's PEOPLE!! (Think: Soylent Green). People are sinful, corrupt. So, therefore a government of the people, by the people, and for the people cannot be and should not be expected to be perfect.

I am NOT a victim. I am the product of my choices through God's will and grace in my life. I will not blame anyone else for my situation, because there is no one else to blame. I will not judge others in their choices, but I will not listen to their false cries of victimization. I will continue to pay my taxes and let Caesar use those taxes to do what he will. I will continue to vote to convey my preferences for how my taxes are used. And I will continue to give to God what is God's. (Ref. Matthew 22:21).

And there is no such thing as lucky or unlucky.

That is all.


Beaver said...

I wasn't going to say it in the post, but this rant is in response to some of the "anonymous" letters I read on the "We Are the 99 Percent" blog.

-$103,000 in student loans and only an Associate's degree.

-Twenty-two years old, been "laid-off" for two years, and had to file bankruptcy.

These people don't need a movement, they need financial education and a TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER!! (This, by the way, is not me passing judgement--it's the TRUTH.)

Craig-Jen said...

here, here!

I made MY choices, which also included joining the military to help offset my education. No one MADE me go to Baylor, I CHOSE to go there. And I was free of my educational debt in less than 5 years from graduation (that was only undergrad though!) I own up to my choices and it sickens me to read about the "school loan debt forgiveness" programs floating about.

But here's what gets me: Since when did the "American Dream" belong to everyone? And since when did the rich become something to abhor? The whole, "I DESERVE this and that" is bogus. Once upon a time people WORKED HARD for their American wasn't handed to them.

Your kids are going to be so much better because of you and Eli and the things you're teaching them!