The Impact Of Student Loans, In 37 Seconds

I graduated from college more than three years ago and I've made barely a dent in my student loans. So I loved this BuzzFeed video where young people quickly discuss their student loans, something that adds up to more than half a million in less than a minute. By the way, you know how in the movie It Follows you're pretty much stuck looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life for the monster? That's what student loans feel like to me. (Hey high school students: consider a state school! Many of them are quite good! Just a thought!).

It's amazing how quickly the costs of everyone interviewed by BuzzFeed adds up, but what's especially poignant is when the people interviewed discuss whether they think their loans were worth it. "I feel better having left BU than I did when I entered," one woman said. But not everyone agrees. "I work at a tanning salon," one man said. "No, it wasn't worth it." Another man talked about the time he wasted while he was in college: "I feel like most people just spend four years of school on social media, and then they get out here and they're like, sh*t, I don't have a job. And I have debt, what's going on?"

Take a look:

It made me wonder: was my debt worth it? It's hard to say — I liked my college experience fine enough, and without it, who knows if I would have ended up exactly where I am now? But I do think my priorities for college were out of whack; a huge, private school located in a city, like the university I went to, was probably not the right place for me for a ton of reasons — including, but not limited to, the fact that it was too expensive.

Still, I've found my student loans fairly easy to manage, if impossible to sizably shrink. They're expensive, but unlike, say, a credit card bill, student loans are easy to defer if you're struggling financially. And while it's hard to exactly pinpoint a cause-and-effect between my degree and the jobs I have gotten since college, I would say that at least some of the opportunities I've gotten would have been impossible to receive without a bachelor's degree. Whether it had to be a bachelor's degree from a private school, however, is another story.

Image: YouTube