Owning your student debt

Illustration by Trevor Moore Photo credit: Trevor Moore

Loans. I’ve had a number of conversations on this topic. Whether it’s with peers, parents, the financial aid office or professors, somehow loans always enter the conversation when college is brought up.

A huge deciding factor when choosing which college to attend is financial aid.

How much did you get? Do you have to take out loans? Are you staying in the dorms?

Money is a very real factor in the equation. Many people turn down their dream school because they weren’t offered enough money to go.

I knew that since I would be paying for college on my own that I would be taking out loans and I was OK with that. Some family members weren’t too happy about it; I saw loans as a good investment. I mean why would I want to deprive myself from getting the type of education I want?

Sure, there’s that whole paying-them-back thing but there are many things in life I will most likely have to pay back.

Loans are definitely an investment. College debt is something people struggle to pay back for decades sometimes, but I feel that if you invested time and money into your education and got a good experience from it, then your investment was worth it.

College, like many other things in life, is a commitment. There are certain things that are sacrificed with every commitment we make. For example: time. College takes a lot of your time and money. Unfortunately, we live in a country where public education is not free, which means there are fees that we, as students, must pay.

What some people don’t seem to understand when they look down on those who take out loans is that receiving any college-level education will be an investment.

I can’t stand when people lecture me on taking out loans for school. I always hear, “What if you don’t get a good-paying job when you graduate to pay them back?”

“What if you take out too many loans?”

“Why would you take out a loan for school?”

I personally took out loans so I could provide myself with an education from an institution that I wanted to attend. I took out loans so I can graduate and have a degree in a field I actually want to work in. I took out loans so I could come to Chico State and be a Wildcat.

I don’t see my time and money spent in college as wasted. I’ve received an education that I’m proud of and that I can go use out in the real world.

Your education is worth an investment. Of course I don’t want to be up to my neck in college loans, but I don’t regret taking out loans. Without loans I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to come to this school. That is very much the case for most people who take out loans.

Eventually, well sooner or later, I’ll have to pay back these loans. But it will have been worth every penny.

Kristina Martinez can be reached at [email protected] or @kristinacsuc on Twitter.