For real?

January 7, 2009

I work in a college admissions office.  Typically, the days aren’t very eventful; once in awhile something really interesting will happen, or I’ll come across a funny student essay, or one of the counselors will give me some mudane project that makes the day drag on.  And on.  But that’s not really the point.  Most of these counselors (3 out of the 4 on my side of the office) are fresh out of college.  Two are actually alum.  Today, one of them started talking about loan repayment.  I nearly dropped out of my seat.  Out of her paycheck, between $700 and $800 goes directly to her Staffords.  Scary? Just a bit, especially when you’re only making about $800 a month.  Okay, now I know I’m going to school full-time so I really shouldn’t be shocked at the amount of money–I’ll be working a full-time job (hopefully) after graduation, making paying the bills and actually surviving seem a bit more feasible.  The problem lies in the idea itself:  do I really feel that my education is worth the money?  Often, I say no.  I feel as though I could be taught these things anywhere, if I simply picked up a book.  Sure, the experience and interaction is great, but really, $40,000+ a year for college?  I oftentimes don’t understand it.  I feel as though I’ve been placed into such debt that it will be impossible to come back to the surface before my children are having children of their own.  Maybe it’s just me, but its tough to rationalize it.

Other things that are too expensive:

  • underwear:  come on, if I’m supposed to be wearing it every day, making it upwards of $5 kind of seems ridiculous.  I could have three coffees instead of one pair of underwear–guess where my pick would be most days.
  • cereal:  almost $4?  is there gold in that cardboard box?
  • laptop computers:  okay, these are actually pretty important, advanced little machines.  $2300 for a MacBook Pro?  That I need for what I want to do when I graduate?  Where is that supposed to come from?
  • turnpike tolls:  enough said.  What’s up with paying for shitty roads that usually are backed up because of work zones that are full of people staring at a hole in the cement?

What do you think isn’t worth the price you pay for it?