Financial matters are a constant headache for any young adult – particularly talented students in their early 20’s who lead a mental struggle against the realization that the heaps of federal and private loans being taken out must eventually be repaid, with hefty interest. No matter how deep a hole one has dug throughout their undergraduate or even graduate career, there a few things that must be kept in mind. I’m hoping my advice to those who feel as though they are fully dispensable in the face of the grueling job market and have nothing to show for days spent in the library besides routine payment reminders from charming loan officers will turn a few frowns (I’ll even accept as little as an amused grunt.)

I’ve heard that anything in list form is cheapened to an extent. Then surely, it would be silly for me to offer wisdom through such means. Nonsense! In an admittedly erratic diversion from the topic of conversation, I’d like to suggest that there is nothing that draws more attention that sequentially arranged numbers, accompanied by blurbs of text. For this very reason, I’ll proceed.

When you grumpily wave your arm around at the piercing sound of your unwelcome morning alarm and lazily crack your eyes open to be met with the hazy sight of a war zone disguised as a dorm room…

  1. Resist the urge to cry
  2. Think about the fact that you’re a college student – the envy of all naïve high-schoolers, who cannot wait to enter a world of nonexistent parental supervision, endless partying, and “optional” classes
  3. Reconsider the above point and ground your sense of value on something slightly more admirable. You likely have exceptional determination to pursue higher education. You’re intelligent, aren’t you? You likely have an impressive GPA. You’ve been through so much. You’re quite mature, aren’t you? All of these things hold value.
  4. Regardless of your major, your concentration, or type of extracurricular involvement – you have enriched yourself with an array of knowledge and gained awareness unavailable to those who have bypassed (or lacked) an opportunity to attend college.
  5. Though this topic is controversial, education in the United States is worth every penny. As an immigrant who came to this nation in search of greater opportunity, I feel privileged to have chance to earn a diploma from a good school and actually be able to put it into use. These types of experiences are rarely guaranteed in many other nations around the world.

Though the horizon may seem bleak for much of America’s educated youth, this nation still offers the most opportunity and promise for those who are willing to dedicate themselves. The weight of that niggling student loan won’t seem as heavy when one begins reaping the rewards for years spent buried underneath books.