When I was fifteen years old, I lived in a car with two guys. I spent my days sleeping in the backseat and visiting my friends in the high school parking lot rather that going to school. I was suspended, and then expelled. I shoplifted a package of Twinkies from the Broadway Shop n’ Save because I was hungry. I was arrested for inciting a riot. Then I was arrested again because I didn’t return two movies and the store charged me with theft. Then I broke into house of an ex-boyfriend to retrieve said movies (that he had refused to give back to me) and return them. And… oh yeah, I was also a cutter. ………………………..blah blah blah this all led me to want to pursue a career in social work as I feel that I can not only relate to those who are struggling, but I also feel like I am a pretty good example of the fact that one CAN come out on the other side of a bad place.
The past few months I had been pondering going to grad school to get my masters in social work. I love school. I love writing, and assignments, and having “stuff I have to get done.” What I don’t love is student loan debt. As of today, I have close to $80,000 of said debt. I know people don’t often put their money situations ‘out there.’ Money is really the last taboo. We will converse about our vaginas, our partner’s psych medications, and that weird mole on our ass that keeps on growing, but if you want to end a conversation in .002 seconds, ask someone how much money they made last year.
Anyhoo… We needed to buy a second car last week. Lonnie’s 2000 ford Explorer wasn’t going to pass inspection again. We listed it for sale on Craigslist, assuming that it would take forever to sell, or wouldn’t sell at all and we would just take whatever we could in trade just to get rid of it. WRONG. I am STILL getting e-mails today about that stupid car that two guys came and picked up 2 days after I listed it. Car gone. Us with one car. Not good. So we scrambled to find a replacement. WTF does this have to do with grad school, you ask? Well, a super fun finance guy at the dealership took what seemed to be an opportunity that he had been waiting for all his life, to berate me about my student loan debt, and what exactly it is that I am now doing for work, and how I was ever going to pay that off as ‘just a social worker.’ And as much of a dick he was, he was right. Not only was he right, but he highlighted what an ass I am for even considering adding to that pile of money that I need to pay back.
So grad school is not happening right now. And unless I someday work for a company that is going substantially subsidize the endeavor, it may never happen. And I am 90% ok with that. OK maybe 80% …or possibly 75%?