Before I begin with the absolutely soul-wrenching, total f--kery of describing the burden of student debt, let's all take a moment to commiserate about how terrible it feels to graduate college with a mountain of loans:
Feel free to scream internally (or publicly, whatever) while looking at this gif:
OK, now I think we're ready.
It's no surprise that young Americans are dealing with disproportionately high levels of student debt when they're graduating college. According to the Project on Student Debt, "7 out of 10 seniors who graduated from public and nonprofit colleges in 2013 had student loan debt, with an average of $28,400 per borrower."
What does this look like, exactly? Here are some of the things people are having less difficulty paying off than their student loans, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York:
-- Their homes. PLACES WITH ROOMS AND FLOORS AND SH-T.
-- Credit cards.
-- Auto loans.
Here's a chart if you don't believe me:
Let's be clear: By no means are any of these things easy to pay off, but apparently, of all of these things that are really hard to pay off, student loans are the hardest. Our nation's total student loan debt is already over $1 trillion. What's next?
There's a palpable fear that news like this will scare young people into skipping college altogether, simply because, financially, it's not feasible for them. As a person currently paying off my student loans (from one of the most expensive universities in the U.S.), I would implore you to not feel defeated, as hard as it seems.
Pursuing your education is, of course, of paramount importance.
Thinking critically about what's fiscally responsible for you, in relation to your long-term goals, is also something to think about before you even start filling out your college applications. In short: Be smart and follow your dreams.