The hardest part about owing so much is knowing I am judged for my decision to go to school. If I had not gone to college I would be considered another statistical waste of space.
In the end I'll owe approximately $60,000 in federal and private loans. I think the worst thing that could happen now would be regretting that I spent that much money. But, I don't. I think it was worth it.
The current value of my childhood home is probably less than amount of money I have borrowed in student loans. The fact that I am $100,000 in debt is so humiliating that I almost did not write this.
I took out a private $15,000 loan to pay for a year of school and chip away at rent and food costs. I don't qualify for federal or state loans, so I'm not sure what the interest rate will be once I start paying it back.
My loans are currently in forbearance as the interest continues to accrue. I have absolutely no idea how I am going to manage to pay them back. I barely get by as it is.
The old conventional wisdom -- work hard and stay in school -- no longer applies. It belongs to a different, dying economic age that spanned the last half of the 20th century.
We live in a culture where college is almost a requirement to be taken seriously and legitimately, yet it's still impossible for most to get there alone without going into massive debt.
To all the students who are thinking about borrowing from private banks, be very careful, and most importantly, demand ethical behavior.
I know there has been talk in Washington about helping us "student debt-drowners," but I watch politics go on as usual and it leads me to believe that there will be no help for thousands like me. Where's our bailout?
Thanks to a 23-year-old black man who deceptively looks like an innocent boy, African-Americans, Arabs and the Muslim Diaspora all have something in common. They are more easily viewed as terrorists, and there's no escaping it.
I can't wait to get back to Denver, Aspen, and the West -- the wide open spaces and really cool place, the wildlife, the rivers, the mountains, the light. I won't be allergic to anything once I get off the plane.
The most dangerous scenarios concern countries of some strategic importance imploding and NATO countries (for the moment) lacking the focus and capacity to respond.