‘I wish I knew then what I know now, I would not have gone to college’
I had to go to work right out of high school. Yet ever since I knew what one was I wanted to be a teacher. So with no savings I decided to take out loans. I went to the University of Phoenix online (I still had to work full time) in 2003 and received my Associates Degree in General Studies in 2005. I then found an online accredited teachers college called Western Governors University and started working toward my secondary teachers credential in Social Science in 2005. I was able to graduate in 2007. Ever since I graduated I have been applying for teaching positions and haven’t even been called in for an interview (may I remind you it’s 2012!?). My speculation is that there are so many seasoned teachers who need work that they may not want a teacher who has no experience.
I owe a stomach wrenching $22,125 from Sallie Mae and $11,470 from Nelnet. I was able to consolidate some of my FAFSA loans. And I have had to ask Sallie Mae to make my payments lower because I am unable to find work. But that is only going to prolong the process of paying it off. I wish I knew then what I know now, I would not have gone to college. Loans were my only option. I didn’t realize how overwhelming the debt would be once I was done. I was not only married when I graduated, but 6 months pregnant with our first child. He is now 4 and we have another son who is 2. We rely on my husband’s income and it is extremely tight to say the least. I wish I didn’t have to send in the $355 a month in student loan payments. I am sure that is not the message you want to give your readers, this is my truth.
Angela W., via email
‘I find myself on the Internet looking at craigslist ads for things people are giving away for free so that my kids can have some sense of Christmas’
I have currently been out of work for two months but was living paycheck to paycheck before i was fired. I was fired after being in the hospital for 4 days from my job as a head housekeeper. I have 4 kids all under the age of 6 and am finding it extremely hard to get into the holiday spirit. We cant pay the basic bills fully and as far as rent goes its not getting paid at all, and we are in the process of being evicted with no hope of where we are going to go from here.
I can’t just go out and buy my kids things for Christmas like I would like so I find myself on the Internet looking at craigslist ads for things people are giving away for free so that my kids can have some sense of Christmas. I wake up everyday not knowing of what’s going to happen that day, and just hoping for the best. I do believe that you have to be in this kind of position to truly understand how it feels to be at the bottom level of the economy.
We stopping going to see friends and family as much as we used to because gas isn’t cheap, and had to resort to leaving the house only when we feel like the walls are caving in on us. I like to think that my kids are too young to fully understand what we are going through, but have to hold back tears when my 6 year old comes home from school with a paper for a field trip or for a book fair saying, “I know we don’t have the money for this but i really want …” So I scrimp and save so that she can at least appear normal in front of her peers who I wonder if they are struggling just like us.
I cant really say that I’ve focused much on a resolution for the next year. And other than to start working and be able to support my family and give them everything they deserve, I cant imagine hoping and working for more.
Heather Yeager; Tampa, FL