After classes started, we continued to meet with our first-years to check-in, see how they were holding up, answer questions they had, etc.. One night, I walked into our small dorm room, to find there were a group of students hanging out with my roommate. They were scattered all over our room, including my roommate's top bunk. A few looks over top bunk, including my friend, Kyle Langan. A first-year student with bright blue eyes and a wonderful, warm smile.
Since then, we continued to stay connected via Facebook. While my life brought us (me and my family) to the southeast, his journey has taken him to La La Land.
And yes, I totally think people jump out of their cars and dance/sing during LA traffic.
He is now the Founder & Editor for From The Hamptons to Hollywood, which specializes in Fashion, Events, Food, and Editorial Content. They’ve been featured on billboards, have been featured on the E! Network, and were named one of The Top Lifestyle Blogs of the Year – twice – by TripAdvisor. He also just had his first red carpet hosting experience at The Thirst Project's 10th annual gala.
Kyle recently wrote an article that I felt needed to write about (and have already reached out to him to let him know I was doing this 😉).
In his recent post, How College Ruined My Life, he talks about the debt that he accumulated during his time in undergrad. I can relate. I didn't have as much college loans than he did, but it was enough for a communications major, who started out making $22,000 grand a year (2007) to scare you just a little. I feel for my fellow co-eds who have a huge loan burden and still, remain digging out of a massive hole.
People have been taking a deeper look at how pricey college is, the admission process, donors giving gifts back, etc. Let's check that out for a minute.
Our beloved DeSales is now a whopping $56k+ for residential students (when I started in 2003, my parents and I were looking at $26k+ for residential students). It cost more for me to attend college than what I was earning after graduation.
While I visited friends at other colleges and universities, these places look like resorts. Having their own convenience store in their residence hall, having a Chick-fil-A, Subway and Starbucks in their student union, having residence halls that look more like hotels than a higher-end cinder block room, high-speed wifi, coffee house student lounges, etc. All higher education institutions follow these lines in order to keep up, stay current, and recruit the student.
Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10, who ends up paying for those fancy upgrades?
You. The student/alum via residence house living, student fees and ultimately your student loans.
So yes, I can see that's how college could ruin your life.
However, I don't feel like college ruined my life, even with the debt that I still carry with me. Here are some things to consider if you're still digging yourself out.
- The Degree
- You'll always have this degree that you put your blood, sweat, and tears into. No one can ever take that away from you and it will remain a permanent spot on your resume.
- Besides the classroom, you learn a lot more outside of it. It was my experiences in SGA, Student Activities and living with others in the residence halls that provided me the additional leadership and adulting skills you will desperately need moving forward.
- We all do crazy stuff in college. Are you subscribed to the "Best of College" stories on Snapchat? Some of the stuff takes me right back when other times I look at what these kids were doing and say "Were we that bad?!" I then think, yes. Yes, we were (however, we were in college before the huge social media boom. Twitter was just making its appearance our senior year).
- Anyways, this is the one time in your life where you can learn those hard lessons, and sometimes, face the minimum consequences. Hangovers are a lot harder when you're 31 than when you were 21.
- Mentors & Friends
- Besides my degree, DeSales gave me the greatest gift. My mentors and my friends! I wouldn't have met some of my best friends who have become my bridesmaids, colleagues, etc. I mean seriously, I wouldn't have met Kyle! Look at all the cool stuff he's doing now. I can say I knew him when.
What do you think? What keeps you positive when you're paying off student debt (or any debt for that matter)?
P.S. - It's a new month! Ten new positions are now posted on our jobs page.