TITLE: If the Stars Should Appear
GENRE: Adult Rom-Com
Once, I was canvassing for a political candidate and a woman at the door asked me, “What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for money?”
I replied, “I went to college.”
I’m thinking about that conversation now, as I stand in a long line of future graduates, all of us draped in unflattering black gowns. We’re rowed two-by-two beneath the stadium, ready to take our seats on the football field and start the rest of our lives.
Today’s a day of celebration, which explains why several students in front of me have decorated their mortarboards, bejeweling the hell out of the top with shiny beads, foam letters and glitter glue. JOB WANTED. CALL ME 555-7619 one says. SALLIE MAE OWNS MY LIFE says another. The girl in front of me has a picture of her walking up steps, a ball and chain named “crippling debt” locked to her ankle, the caption below reading: $120,000 DOLLARS LATER LMAO.
I cringe. It’s not funny lady. You’ll owe that money after today.
My friends have accepted student debt as the price you pay for doing business, like sales tax or rating your Uber driver five stars because he knows where you live. Technically, they’re right. And it’s not like I have any room to judge. Tomorrow, I start paying off the twenty-three grand I owe. If I’m fiscal, I’ll be debt free in nine years.
I’m so screwed.