I’m 21 years old and, not unlike other millennials my age, I’m sitting atop a pile of debt so large that I actually doubt its existence at times. The amount of money I owe the government and Discover bank combined is a number so big that I have a hard time comprehending its sheer enormity.
However, despite the loans I’m already sandbagged by, I’ve applied to grad schools and I await my decision letters anxiously. If I’m accepted, I’m going. There’s nothing that can stop me, not even the mountain of loans that I will be willingly adding to.
I’ve received a lot of criticism about this—I’m irresponsible and I don’t understand the concept of money—and my answer always remains the same.
I want to invest in my future.
I want to attend a program where the professors are masters of their trade, where the connections will be endless and the experiences gained will be worthwhile. I want to be the best that I can be at what I do, so when I’m ready to enter the “real” world, I’ll be fully prepared to find a good job to begin to pay off all the debt I’ve accrued over the last four years.
This is my choice—I can do whatever I feel will be best for my future, and the next time I’m met with side-eye when I talk about how I plan to finance the continuation of my education through loans, I’ll have no problem letting them know that they are my loans and my business.