Marcela de Vivo is a professional freelance writer and researcher. She had written me about running the infographic seen here and I asked how it related to job hunting. That prompted her to write this post about her own experiences. I think many can relate and so am running it today. I am not endorsing use of the company which created the graphic; the link will take you there but again I am not endorsing it or receiving any payment from it to run this infographic. Would love to read your comments on the post.
John N. Frank
Far from being the first person in my family to go to college, I was well prepared for the higher education experience.
Late night dorm food, early morning classes, and everything in between had been at least (briefly) explained by nostalgic parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. What I was not prepared for was the cost. Even though my parents helped out, and I had some savings from a part-time job, I still had to take out a hefty student loan to pay for my four-year stay at a university.
While the college experience was absolutely worth it, it became an additional stressor when I started job-hunting after college. It became imperative I get a job immediately—not only to get started on my career path, but also to start addressing the looming weight of thousands of dollars of debt.
I began freelance writing as a side job to my regular work, in order to earn extra money to pay off that debt. Today I’m a full-time freelancer but I am still paying off that loan, some 10 years later. And on top of that, I now have my own children’s education to consider. I may be paying off one student loan or another for the rest of my life.
And I’m not alone in that—check out these statistics in this infographic by Consolidatedcredit.org. It tracks the history of student loan debt in the US and reveals some surprising, not to mention scary, facts about the state of higher education today and what it might be link in the future.
I don’t regret my decision to attend college, as it taught me valuable lessons and a work ethic that trained me for my career today, but at the same time I understand why so many people are questioning if college is a worthwhile investment. It’s vital to be fully aware of what you’re getting into when you sign up for student loans, and what your job prospects will be once you graduate and are expected to begin paying them off.
What’s your experience with student loans? Share your story in the comments!