I thought that when I told my readers that I lived with my in-laws and could not even pay for groceries I would feel ashamed about it. The subject of shame has come up a lot with all the student loan debtors I know, and I have urged people - like I did the other night on the phone - to abandon such feelings. As more of us are sharing our stories with one another, I have noticed a significant change in attitude among student loan debtors. We are denouncing this shame, and we are overcoming it collectively.
Here's a great example. One young woman recently opened up about her living situation. It is similar to my own. Let's hear what Ms. C's life is like as an indentured educated American:
While I am not 'technically' homeless. . . I am. . . for me if it was not for my kind-hearted boyfriend I would be couch bound. So I am staying with him while I try and figure out (in the short term) how to hide my car from being repossessed while I come up with the money (can't get a job without reliable transportation!). When I first moved in with him, it was a temporary 'until I take the bar' thing . . . but things aren't looking well on the financial front and things ARE looking good for us two . . . so I don't plan on moving by myself . . . but when I do get a decent paying job (and have saved up for lord knows how many months) we will move together to a new place . . . at least that is the plan (and it gives me a little glimmer of hope to think that way) . . .
How do people find hope in this sucky economy? I can't get a job anywhere . . . administrative assistant, entry level, nothing ugh. . . I just don't see myself being optimistic for too much longer. . . it has been a year and it hasn't been pretty . . .
Disenchanted Esq HopefulI know exactly where Ms. C. is coming from. When I am able to rent my own apartment and buy groceries again - like I did in S. Korea - I will feel so overjoyed. But perhaps that is asking too much? Perhaps Ms. C. and I are entitled because we want to have our own apartments.
Thanks, Ms. C., for having the guts to share.
"Are You a 'Couch-hopping,' Homeless, Indebted Grad?," AEM (August 13, 2011)
"National Tragedy: Homeless Man With Two Master's!," AEM (August 10, 2011)
"Arianna Huffington, '245,000 College Grads Looking for Sugar Daddies,'" AEM (August 4, 2011)