College Debt and All Its Glory

By Evie Melvin

When senior year comes around students are given two options for after they graduate: college or the workforce. Both are honorable and normal choices, and because college is my choice I’ve decided to speak a little about what my future will cost me. Going to college is a big step in furthering your education. College is said to be tough, for whatever reason, it mostly depends on the individual.  And as I think about what I worry about most when it comes to college, I immediately think about the money.

As senior year has moved along and I’ve delved into the process of applying for college and working on scholarships, the numbers have just added up. Little did I know how much education would cost me, and I’ve chosen a public college. My older sister went to a private institution and she has student loans with numbers that I can’t even imagine owing.

No matter the amount of scholarships you get, you will still owe something. It could be books or simply just a meal plan. Some of us are lucky enough to get full rides, yet for the majority of students have to turn to student loan and scholarships to help pay our way. The amount of stress some parents put on their children to achieve higher grades and to win more scholarships is just proof as to how stressful student debt can be. Parents who have gone to college and are dealing with their debt are putting this pressure on their children because they want their children to understand that having debt, especially student debt, can cause a lot of financial issues after graduating from college. As stated by Christine DiGangi on credit.com, “It’s smart to avoid student loan debt if you can, because those loans affect your credit and your financial future.” It is scary to think that in trying to improve my future, I could end up ruining it.

A lot of people do not realize everything they have to pay for when applying for college. They just see that whole sum of a student loan and shrug it off, but if you really pay attention, you could pick out each individual thing that adds up to the full total. My sister has only sat and talked about it a little, but what she did say caused me to really pay attention to the number and try to learn from her mistakes and financial issues. She talked about the fact that books cost ten times more than any book she’s ever bought and also that the price might just give you a heart attack. As stated by Allen Grove on ThoughtCo.com, “College books are not cheap. An individual book will often cost well over 100 dollars, sometimes over 200 dollars. The cost of books for a year of college can easily top 1,000 dollars.” This to me is outrageous. The fact that I am paying over 100 dollars every day for each class, and then I also have to pay that huge sum of money for a textbook that after the class I probably will not ever think about again, gives me sheer anxiety.

College is a great tool to further your education, don’t get me wrong. I would love to further my education and in turn, gain more money. It just seems that growing an education to pay for the things I want and need comes at a heavy debt. Some may not even be able to pay this at all. It seems that the government focuses entirely on the wrong things, instead of helping the young adult achieve their dreams without being in debt their whole life. College is serious and many people go without because they simply cannot afford it. This should not be an issue whatsoever, but it is and will be an issue for a while. Maybe all we, as young adults, have is scholarships. If this is the case then there must be someone out there that has the time to sit and do as many scholarships as needed. I am not that person though. As a high school senior and athlete, I have too much on my plate. I have to worry about things other than paying for my education, but that may just be me. If you are the type of person who has enough time to do these things, then good for you. I applaud you, but I promise you, there will still be debt to pay in the end.