It’s all too ironic

May 1, 2016

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It recently dawned on me the state of indentured servitude many of us are in or will be in for a great deal of our lives. We take out huge loans to pay for school, we work to pay off that debt for years to come. In some ways, this isn’t such a big deal since most of us go to higher ed precisely because we want to work. But what if you want to choose not to work? That option seems to be essentially taken away.

When I left college I had no debt, I went to an affordable state school and my parents paid every year out-of-pocket. Then to my financial misfortune, I was accepted into Columbia University. I hesitated because of the debt I knew I would find myself in after two years of school but with my parent’s encouragement, I went anyway. Was it a mistake? No, it’d be hard to say getting an Ivy League degree was a mistake yet financially I can’t help but ask why I put myself in this situation.

Then I left New York for Jordan to pursue Islamic and Arabic studies, practically I should have gotten a job after finishing school but again I can’t regret the experience of a lifetime. Now that I am returning home my next move is uncertain but this debt will surely hang over my head. We leave school with the knowledge, job skills and thousands of dollars in debt -why do we continue in this system of living? Are we too timid to tell private universities to lower their price or they’ll be out of students? Why do we feel so dis-empowered when even the promise of a good job post grad- school is dwindling?

If I could do it all over again maybe I’d defer my entry into Columbia to work and save so I could afford tuition, maybe I could have applied for more scholarships, or maybe I could have simply said ‘thanks but no thanks’ I can’t afford the offer. Whatever the solution whether making universities free or using our own influence to force universities to lower their tuition we simply can’t keep living as indentured servants in a modern society.

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