So here I am. I achieved my degree and I am now $56,000 in debt with a much higher interest rate than the banks got when America bailed them out. I am well out of my 20’s with a diverse resume’ of experience. However, no one hires people like me. All I wanted was to increase my earning potential or maybe even begin a new career path, but every job position I find that I qualify for is a job that does not require a degree. So why did I go back and get my degree? Please…really…that was not rhetorical.
Now slogging through job boards on a day-to-day basis, calling in favors from every connection I can remember, I slip deeper into a depressed state. It’s not full blown depression, but it is close. As I upload my resume and am then prompted to type in my work history. “WTF!! I JUST UPLOADED MY ENTIRE WORK HISTORY IN A DOCUMENT!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!??!!” I have a short fuse. I stink. I haven’t showered in a couple of days. Why should I? No one wants to interview me even though my resume is further out there than the latest internet meme.
Do I regret getting my degree? Right now? Yes!! On some existential level I am proud of the accomplishment. I should have done it years ago. But right now I can’t even look at it. I despise the system from which it comes. Right now the only jobs that I can find I did not have to go into such crushing debt to find or even acquire. As I stated before, no one hires people like me.
“People like me?” you ask. I acquired my credentials late in life. I wanted to change my path and increase my earning potential. But no matter how I translate my vast experience to fit the position for which I am applying, it is not well received by the hiring manager. I know that I am fully if not overly capable of doing quite well at these jobs for which I am applying, but no one will give me that chance and honestly, my time is running out. I am not getting any younger. And I fully believe that age discrimination is a thing.
I ponder daily the near impossibility of paying off my student loans. Hell the impossibility of me being able to make the first payment as it draws nearer. I recently learned that if I qualify for a low income repayment plan then after 20 or 25 years what remains is forgiven. YAY!! Oh wait…what? The year it is forgiven….I must claim the unpaid amount as income and pay taxes on it? Holy Shit!! I’m already on a LOW-INCOME payment plan, and you expect me to come up with the taxes to pay on the remaining amount. If I could afford the taxes on this then I could have most likely paid off the student loans on the original plan, you idiots!! Thanks for screwing us over.
It’s scary. I’ve come to the realization that I will most likely work until the day I die. And then after that I may still be expected to pay on my student loans. Or on the taxes I couldn’t afford to pay up front.