College Debt

Today, at work, I asked for a promotion. I’ve been at my job for 3 months, as of this last week, and there are plenty of other people who could be ahead of me for this position. So, why is my manage considering me instead of someone else? Oh right, I went up and asked for it. Not going to lie, it was probably one of the most terrifying things for me to do considering some of the bosses I’ve had in the past, and people getting promotions or special treatment over me even if I was the one that deserved the break. However, my philosophy has always been to work hard and eventually, no matter how much it sucks at the time, it will pay off. I’m hoping that this is the case now. If I get this job finding a second job this summer will be ten times easier because my hours will pretty much be set. I could either aim for 2 full time jobs or 1 full time and 1 part time job. Over the summer, as much as it’ll suck not having a social life, I could probably do a job where I have doubles on the weekend and maybe one or two nights a week from May to August.

If I had 1 full and 1 part time job over the summer, and worked 25 hours at the part time for minimum wage I’d make enough in a month to cover my rent, electricity, groceries, gas and necessities. That would allow me to put everything from my full time job towards my $10,000 I currently owe Drexel. Over the course of the summer (approximately 3 months) I’d be able to pay off almost half of it, and if I got my stuff together for the garage/craigslist/ebay sales at dad’s and mom’s I could potentially make another $500-$2,000 which would put me well on my way to getting it completely paid off. This isn’t counting if my lawyer can find a way around the road block we ran into for my settlement. Maybe, I can make a deal with my parents that If I put $3,700 towards my Drexel debt this summer that they could match me with about 25% and put $900 each towards my Drexel debt. It’d put me at over half way towards paying it off. That’s definitely something I think I could be happy with. So, maybe I’ll talk to them about it soon. If anything maybe I could get them to do $650 each which would put me at $5,000 even for the summer. Maybe. We will have to see. I’d feel a lot better about it though if I could get it over half way paid for before the end of the summer.

Essentially, the thing I’m concerned about most right now is paying off my college debt because I’m not the kind of person who likes to be in debt. I’m a very stubborn and headstrong person and I don’t like relying on others. I tend to support myself and hate being given/handed things I feel I haven’t earned. However, recently I’ve been considering getting food stamps to make my life a little easier and save myself some money each month that I could put towards paying Drexel. If I could even put an extra $100 towards that debt every month I’d have an extra $600 paid off by the end of Spring semester. Definitely something I need to look into. Am I crazy for having to have all of this worked out? Maybe. However, I don’t want to have to worry about being in debt the rest of my life. I want to be able to put my income towards other sources like a family, vacations, my children’s future, etc… Wow, I sound completely insane right now. I better go to bed. Thoughts at 1am can lead to infinite wonderings.

Food For Thought: Low Wage Jobs

In my Sociology class we’ve discussed how if everyone had a college education there wouldn’t be anyone to work the low wage jobs, and we need those workers. This is outside the fact that yes, people can make it without a college degree, but not everyone has the drive to do so.

So, here’s an idea. What if we lowered the working age to 15, and made college more affordable? Let’s be honest here, if we want independent children, they need to learn to earn what they have, and the only way to do so is work. If there had been jobs available to me, I’d have started working at 13. Well, technically I started working at 10 when I started babysitting, but I’m talking about a real job. I’ve always like having my own money, and my parents always encouraged me to work for it.

In high school, you really don’t need to make a whole lot of money, outside dire family circumstances. So, a part time, minimum wage job really isn’t all that bad for high school, and even college kids. Not to mention, most places want you to have experience before getting a job. You kind of have to have a job in the first place to even get experience.

Now, I’m not talking about management/shift supervisor/upper level sorts that can come from working those minimum wage jobs, I’m talking those entry level jobs that don’t really require much previous experience. Not only does it give experience, but then those low wage jobs are still filled, and it gives people a better chance of possibly affording college. Especially since college seems to want more and more to rob you blind.

There’s other ways to try and afford college, but that’s another post. This is focusing on the possibility of lowering the work age, and allowing high school and college students to focus those low wage jobs, so as to possibly strengthen the economy with more educated adults.

Thinking Outside the Box

This video makes a lot of valid points. Watching it brought me back to a conversation I had 2 years ago with the new associate principal at Boone High. We were supposed to be interviewing him on something for the school paper, and we got soooo off topic. First in the obesity epidemic in America and what causes it, then to how our education system is stuck in the 1900s production line education that is no longer working. Sure, some people test high in their standardized testing, but as this video shows, interest in school has gone down in correspondence to the increase of standardized testing.

I could not agree more with the point made here, there needs to be major changes in the education system if people want to avoid total failure, and creativity is almost totally extinct. There are a few students who survive the monotony, and even those ‘artsy’ students are now becoming very mainstream. No one thinks outside the box anymore, everyone’s done something someone has already done. Honestly, where is the fun in that?

Personally, I LOVE the thrill of creating something new and knowing it’s mine. Sometimes my best work comes out of a crazy jumbled mess, there’s plenty of order in chaos, you just have to know how to look at it. In the words of Robin Williams in the movie Dead Poets Society, “We must constantly look at the world from a different point of view,” or something along those lines. It is in fact sooo true, why would you want to look at something the same every time? There are no new ideas created that way. If you look at a picture of a scribble and all you see is a scribble, then there’s nothing special about it. If you look at a picture of a scribble and see an idea, that’s when your creativity blooms.

Creativity and change are two things that need to hit the education system hard. Not only that, while a degree is a very good thing to get, you are no longer guaranteed a job with one. This is why so many people are asking, “Why get a degree then, if I’m not guaranteed a job?” Good question.

Think about it.