The PJ Tatler

25-Year-Old Shocked to Find Out that Taking Out Huge Student Loans Lead to Huge Debt

Katie Brotherton should have learned to plan ahead. To say the least.

I am honored to be a daughter of Cincinnati and am humbled to have grown up in such a wonderful community. I attended St. Margaret of York grade school and then matriculated from the reputable Ursuline Academy. After high school, I earned degrees from Miami and Xavier universities. Because of my local education, Cincinnati is more than my hometown – she is the mother who raised me into the woman I am now. I am Cincinnati.

My pursuit in excellent education is rooted in a value system that promotes progressive thought for the betterment of the individual as well as society.

Obtaining useful or marketable skills via that expensive education? Apparently not part of the plan.

Education is a core tenet and vested interest of the functioning democratic society. Upon that basic assumption and principle, I am overwhelmingly incensed by the silent epidemic of crippling student debt.

At 25 years old, I have $188,307.22 in student debt, all of which is my sole financial responsibility.That exorbitant number was abetted by easy lending with a co-signer, negligence and lack of awareness, over-borrowing and the exponential growth of tuition.

Who overborrowed? Who failed to understand that your education isn’t some lofty “vested interest of the functioning democratic society,” it’s supposed to make you useful as a functioning adult? Who failed to whip out a calculator and do the math? Who writes as if English is a foreign language to her?

I work both a full-time and part-time job, and abide by a strict budget. Yet, I still sleep in my parent’s basement and am dependent for food, gas and health insurance. I am told I am not alone.

You have to be told this? You couldn’t find it out for yourself?

However, this particularly sensitive conversation is being ignored by our mainstream consciousness.

Um, what?

Due to reckless neglect, student debt will be the financial ruin of my generation, and there is an incredible need for a public discourse addressing this reality and its grave consequences.I want answers and clarity as to why this happened. How did I arrive at this position in life so financially handicapped and disenfranchised?

Well, you overborrowed. It’s pretty clear, really.

I followed societal expectations, earned an education and am employed. I will gladly repay my debts within the comfortable reason of affordability.

Um, what? You owe more in student debt than most Americans probably owe on their houses.

Yet, my wants and needs are disproportionate, and I can barely afford a PB&J sandwich, let alone the peace of mind to sleep at night.There is great irony in pursuing freedom through education only to be shackled by crushing debt. My current financial situation prohibits any fantasies of owning a home, getting married or starting a family.

Overborrowing will do that. So will underthinking.

My future and dreams are six feet under, and I am still digging my grave. I want to fight and reclaim my American and Cincinnatian identity, even if the only thing I can afford is the sound of my voice and tears.

I am owed answers simply because I have the right to pursue happiness. And since I am not alone in this debilitating epidemic, my peers deserve their voice as well.

I was a sad reading that. If Katie Brotherton is representative of her generation, then the supposed best and brightest will drown in debt of their own making, wondering how it all happened, and never finding a clue or taking responsibility.