Student Loans: Why I Stopped at Community College

Emily and I at Pasadena City College.

Emily and I at Pasadena City College.

 

I fucking hate math, ya’ll.

There’s no way around it. The very first math class I took was during the very first semester I had at Pasadena City College. It was an intermediate algebra course that I passed with a D. Unfortunately, I had to retake the stupid thing during the summer intersession, which I failed, and then again somewhere in 2011 which I ultimately withdrew from. Then, because the Chancellor’s Office changed the policies on me, I had to retake the placement test in order to enroll in a class below the one I had placed into (elementary algebra) at another community college. Then, when I luckily passed that class at Citrus College, I took a same-level course as intermediate algebra for my final math class at PCC, struggled, but luckily graduated with a C.

At hindsight, my ass didn’t have to be at PCC for five years. If I had stayed focus and laid off the drugs, I probably would have transferred to a university and would probably be toting a bachelor’s degree by now. But the idea of taking another math class scared the shit out of me, so I dusted whatever talents and skills I had from the journalism program and fled in cap and gown. Now, I’m interning at two different places and writing as much as I can on this blog as well as other outlets that are willing to accept my writing – which is a fucking bitch, let me tell you.

My math skills aren’t up to par, I know. But I don’t need to be waving the almighty Texas Instrument around to let you all know how bad students with loans have it. Congress will be doing a huge disfavor to the future workforce if interest rates sky rocket.

What is the government doing to education? Tons of cash flows into the prison systems nationwide while students are behind bars, imprisoned by debt. Student loans aren’t loans – they’re traps. David Dayen of Salon said it best:

… student loans aren’t loans, not in the traditional sense. They exhibit none of the qualities of modern consumer financial instruments, and are often sold under false pretenses, with the promise of a lifelong benefit that never materializes.

When you use a loan for a house and end up filing bankruptcy, the loan disappears and, well, so does your home. You can’t refinance or file for bankruptcy with a student loan. They linger even after you fail and drop out of college.

This is unfair and unjust. Congress, don’t let shit tarnish the fan. Those who may join the work force need a fresh breath of air after college. For me, knowing that I didn’t stack up a debt as high as some of my other friends alleviated that stress. Now all I have to worry about is finding a decent job. For my friends, however, it’s finding a secure job that will eventually pay off their education…. that they probably took twenty years after they graduated.

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About neilprotacio

Freelance journalist who just so happens to know what goes well with certain breads.
This entry was posted in Blog, Education, Newsworthy, Opinion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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