On a humid day in May 2007, I fake graduated from college. I say fake-graduated because I was two classes shy from being able to officially graduate (damn transferring to a new school), and I was taking them over the summer. Because I was close enough, and because the rest of my friends were graduating and I didn’t want to feel left out because winter graduation wasn’t really a thing, I walked the stage at convocation for the School of Humanities (each school had a mini-ceremony where anyone could attend and walk across the stage to get a fake diploma, and then there was a much larger, grander ceremony that was university wide and you had the actually graduate that year if you wanted to walk). So yes, I was running a fever, I was depressed, and generally in a really shit place and literally wanted to do ANYTHING but go, but I went anyway. (btw, that last sentence very succinctly sums up all 4.5 years of my college experience)
I actually graduated in December 2007, and in January 2008 I received my ~$38,000 piece of parchment paper declaring my Bachelor of Arts status.
And in May 2008, I received my first bill from my new best friend, Sallie Mae.
Student loans have been one of the many banes of my existence. But loans are what happens when you don’t put any effort whatsoever into saving up your money to pay your tuition beforehand, and don’t work your ass off to get scholarships.
When I moved to Australia, I didn’t take into account how I’d continue making payments on my loans. I figured I’d be able to pay them through my Australian bank, no problem. Buuuut no. Payments had to come from an American bank. So that meant transferring money from one bank to the other, and incurring fluctuating exchange rates and fees, fees, fees. It was like making two payments but only having one apply. So whenever I was broke, my parents helped me out in a HUGE way by offering to take over my payments. And in the last two years, they’ve made 99% of the payments. I vowed to take over the payments this year, because I’ve abused my parent’s generosity enough. And today when I logged in to my dashboard (for the first time in about 6 months or so), I realised there were about 3 payments left. Or I could just pay off the remainder of the loans.
As in, pay them off. Like, Not Have Student Loans. Anymore.
HOLY SHIT. In March 2011, I paid off two of my smaller loans, and it felt so damn amazing. And I dreamed of the day when I’d make my last, final payment. I couldn’t believe that it finally came.
After 10 years, my Sallie Mae shackle is gone. Holy crap.
And now, I start paying off the loans my parents got for me.
Maybe in another 10 years I’ll officially own my degree.
But for now, HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS MY LOANS ARE PAID OFF!!
brb, buying my parents a HUGE thank you gift.