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Risking it all for a degree

January 28, 2016

FREDEDREIA WILLIS

News Editor | flw005@latech.edu

WILLIS

WILLIS

As a grade school student, coming from a impoverished town, there was this one thing every motivational speaker (who came to speak to us lil’ po’ chilren’ because it made him or her look good) stated before giving us the keys to success.

 

This one thing created a path of success for all who obtained it: a college degree. There it was, in my face, a ticket to make it out the hood and finally live a food stamp, welfare and section 8 housing free life. Ain’t God good? (You’re supposed to say, “All the time”).

 

So there I was, in the 12th grade, finishing my last year strong, filling out college applications, working part time at a coffee shop and dreaming up all the glorious things I was going to obtain with my college degree. But what no one ever mentioned to me was that two and half years later, I would be $12,500 in debt with bad credit before my degree even touched my palm.

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Whenever TIME magazine or CNN reported about Lake Providence on poverty and income inequality, so many comments talked about us getting our lazy tails up and going to college like every other person who is climbing high on that American success ladder.

 

So how was I going to prove everyone wrong? You got it! Get my lazy tail up and go to college. And, oh yes! By paying for my degree for the rest of my life. So in order for me to not be living off of the government I have to be in debt for the rest of my life?

 

No, I am not saying that people shouldn’t be going to college, because it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made (aside from accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior and eating that last doughnut).

 

I’ll graduate in November and honestly, I am afraid and saddened that because I came to college and wanted to do something with my life, I’ll be stressed about paying the government back and trying to raise a low credit score.

 

So what is a one to do who has debt like mine right after college? Let’s say a person gets a job making around $1,000 a month right after graduation. Well, rent is around $500 and he or she will have to start making loan payments along with insurances, groceries and other bills. Instead of paying $500 a month to rent and to save a little money here and there, guess what a person would do? You guessed it, get on section 8 and get food stamps, while their precious college diploma serves a plate because they could not afford to buy real ones. Purpose defeated.

 

I love that I have had the opportunity to get to college and acquire the debt I have for such a great reason, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Go to college. Work your butt off. Trust God. Budget. Save. Give him his money back and prove even the government wrong.

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