Thursday, July 13, 2006

I'm a Student: Woe is Me

I read this article today that shares my views of not feeling sympathetic towards to college or University graduate:

CBS News recently ran a profile of Jason DeBonis and Katrina Lust, two medical students facing a "mountain" of student loan debt when they finally graduate and start their careers.

At first blush, the couple seems sympathetic. We see their tiny apartment. We see them eating modestly, and we see the foreboding amount of money the couple will have to eventually pay back — more than half a million dollars.

But take a closer look. In the report, the two are drinking Starbucks coffee, a pricy habit for a couple so worried about expenses. In another scene, we see a bottle of water on the table where they're eating a modest meal. But it isn't tap water. Or even bottled water. It's Vitamin Water, one of the more expensive brands of water on the market. Between them, the two have attended Columbia, NYU, and MIT, three of the most expensive schools in the world.

And the couple has planned a destination wedding in Jamaica.


There are some serious economic issues here. The problem is that Kamenetz and her supporters don't quite grasp the extent of them. Student loan debt is a problem, as is the spiraling cost of higher education. But these problems have been caused by the entitlement culture. Giving more government money to students will only make them worse.


One of the most irritating topics is the whine of the student debt. As a student I work really hard to afford my education. My parents didn't give me a dime and I have managed to stay almost debt free, with myself owing probably around $5000 after I graduate with an Honours BA.

It hasn't been easy, but I have been smart about my money. I took out an OSAP loan, but I invest my OSAP. It's interest free! Also I've taken out a line of credit. When it comes to paying my loan back I already have a plan. OSAP is prime +2% while my line of credit is only prime +1%. You got to be smart about your money, otherwise you will drown in debt.

I've also had many scholarships. I received over $6000 in scholarships just in my first year of University. This isn't because I've had a 90% average. I applied to everything I thought for which I could remotely qualify. There are so many scholarships out there and some even go unawarded because no one has applied. If I've had to write an essay, I made the time to do it. I also do what any good citizen should is give back to the community and volunteer my time somewhere. This also really has helped me in being awarded scholarships.

Lastly, I have maintained an 80 per cent average through University. This has been the most difficuly of them all. Surprisingly, in my third year I overloaded my courses (took 5.5 when you're only allowed to take 5) and came out with the highest average so far in University!

I am a bright and intelligent woman, but I'm no genuis. Studying, writing papers and staying on top of readings requires good study habits and dedication. We all love to procrastinate, nap, talk on MSN or go to a kegger, but for those who work hard, it does pay off. Therefore I have no sympathy for the college or University grad that claims "woe is me I have a $30,000 debt. When will the (sugar daddy) government save me". Or: "down with tuition fees." Prices go up. Deal with it. (PS Economics should be a required course because much of my generation hasn't a clue how money, government, and economy works).

I worked through high school, I worked through University and I work through the summer, two jobs if I have to. Do I have an iPod? Nope! A portable DVD player? Nope! A CAR?! NO!! Do I eat well? YES! Another thing that annoys me is the student whining about how they can't afford good food. Yes, when you buy pizza on campus it's 3$ and a sandwich is 6$, but make a sandwich from home! Don't buy french fries, or Kraft Dinner. Spinach is 99 cents! Other veggies such as Asperagus go on sale often enough. And invest in a deep freezer!

The problem with Generation Y (my generation) is the culture of entitlement they are used to being spoiled by their baby-boomer parents. Unfortunately, hard work, isn't an important aspect of our culture anymore. Many of my peers are constantly looking for ways to make things easier, taking short cuts. I'm disappoined in my generation. Although I'm sure we're bright and we'll do great things. As a cohort, we are not as hardworking as previous generations. Especially the cohorts that lived through the depression, and other economic downturns of the 20th century. We have enjoyed major economic success and are used to getting everything we want, when we want. It has to stop, but I don't think it is possible.



Blogger Jarrett said...

Yeesh. No kidding. I've made it through university without any debt, with UVic owing me money.

I remember when I was in Montreal, I was watching a news report after the largest tuition protest in Quebec history. They followed some students around, seeing how they complained about their hard lives with their $1500 tuition.

My favourite was the guy who justified living alone in a nice brownstone, wearing GAP clothes, watching a plasma screen TV, etc.

"I think these clothes give me like, uh, the minimum amount of pleasure to surivive..."

I -so- hate students.

Sun Jul 16, 12:13:00 AM EDT  
Blogger BBS said...

I wouldn't even consider this a rant so much as a blueprint for some people. You're bang on when it comes to the scholarships. When my niece was first applying for University I sat down on the computer and fired up Google. One afternoon/evening's worth of research turned up close to $25,000 worth of scholarships. An essay or two here, some only required an application. Workplaces, churches, service groups... , there are plenty of sources. Like anything else though, you've got to work for it.

Let me hazard a guess. You'll have a job before your 'in-debt' counterparts even start applying.

Keep plugging!

Sun Jul 16, 06:30:00 AM EDT  
Blogger No said...

Um..don't think spinach is the way to go these days.

Sat Sep 16, 09:13:00 AM EDT  

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