Millennials Are Drowning In a Sea of Student Debt

Millennials Are Drowning In a Sea of Student Debt

The constant student loan debt is making it hard for millennials to stay afloat in today's world
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I am a Sophomore in college and as of right now I am $23,653.49 in debt. The average college student in 2016 will graduate with a debt of $37,172 according to Student Loan Hero. This number has gone up by 6% in the last year.

Now it is believed that with a degree it will be easier to find a job, which in turn means it will be easier to pay off student loans. According to Credible, a recent grad should put 10-20% of their paycheck towards student loans. The average student loan monthly payment is $351 and the average salary for a recent grad in 2016 is $50,556. But most recent college grads will end up working a job where their salary is $10 an hour, meaning that they will earn a yearly salary of $20,800 a year.

To a lot of Millennials, it seems easy enough to pay off loans as long as you find a job. But for the average college grad, it takes 3 to 9 months to find a job. The average college grad then has to calculate in apartment or home payments, paying for groceries and insurance and then any other payments that may need to be made, such as credit card debt. The average rent in New York City is $2000 a month, so $24,000 a year. The average car insurance is $815, according to The Simple Dollar. The average health insurance is $286 per month, and the average grocery bill for one is $294.80 a month.

With all these payments, it is not a surprise that it normally takes the average grad with a bachelor's degree over 21 years to pay off their student loans. Even though most student loan repayment plans say a borrower should be able to pay off their student loans in ten years, the numbers show that it takes over 21 years to pay off student debt.

Forty years ago, according to National Center for Educational Statistics, tuition, room and board at a four-year institute was $2,577. In 2016 at SUNY Potsdam, tuition, room and board is a total $18,725 a year. In forty years, the cost of college has skyrocketed, causing more student loans to be taken out. I personally took out two Sallie Mae loans freshman year-- one per semester. I then took out two unsubsidized loans to pay for the rest of my bill each semester. Now that I am in my third semester, I have taken out a total of three Sallie Mae loans and I took out another unsubsidized and a subsidized loan.

Millennials get a lot of attention in the media for our different outlooks on things and our "inability" to own a home and get useful degrees. Millennials are also known for supposedly being "lazy". This idea of us being lazy is caused by the fact that we cannot afford to pay for anything, which is caused by the increase in the need for student loans and how long it takes for us to find a job and then pay off the loans.

I believe that in order to fix this, jobs need to be more accessible to recent grads and the loan companies need to be more willing to help the students who are trying to pay off their loans. Asking for colleges to decrease the tuition, room, and board may cause some colleges to have to cut back on their programs and faculty which will not benefit either the student or the job market. However, I believe that more companies and businesses need to be more opened to hiring recent grads rather than telling them to get more experience and then come back for the job. Student loan companies also need to be more understanding of all the other payments that have to be made as well as the monthly payment to the loan companies.

Millennials are drowning and no matter how many life preservers you throw in, the constant weight from the student loans will cause them to continue to keep drowning. The only way to really assure that they stay afloat is to help decrease the student loan debt that is plaguing all college students and recent grads.

Cover Image Credit: Pitt Business Review

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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10 Study Habits You Should Never Break

Tips and tricks to surviving finals and midterms.

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It's starting to become that time of year again - wrapping up the semester and preparing for the dreaded week of finals and mid-terms. I couldn't be more excited to be done with high school. But finals stink. I luckily don't have many classes that are going to require taking a test, mine are mostly projects.

All throughout high school, I had really struggled with testing and study habits. I didn't know how to study and therefore continued to do poorly because of my study habits or lack of. It was not until my junior year in high school, I had found my way of studying and it has worked for me for every test since. I color coat everything and write things down a million times. It is time-consuming but it is worth it in the end. You just have to find what works with you and stick with it. Here are some tips and tricks to hopefully help you with your study habits. I wish I had someone to tell me these things when I was struggling at the start of high school.

1. Time management

Don't be silly and study the night before the test and expect to do well. Some people can actually do this but I am a person who has to work their tail off for what kind of grades I receive so studying the night before a test would result in me not doing well. But it is different for everyone. What I typically do is if I know the test date ahead of time, I write it down in my planner and then as we learn something I add it to a notecard so as we go on with a unit I remember what we have learned in the start of the unit. I typically study a week prior to the test.

2. Find a study space

I like when my environment is completely quiet, I find it hard for me to focus when I am surrounded by noise. I usually study in my room or somewhere where no one is at

3. Choose a style of studying you like

I am a freak when it comes to studying. I am a very visual person. I will read the chapters in the book, highlight the important stuff, take notes and color coat them, highlight them. Draw diagrams or pictures if needed. And sometimes write small important things a couple of times. Yes, it's time-consuming but it has gotten me to not fail my test. With more unvisual classes like math, I write a notecard of all the formulas and buttons I will need for that unit. I do all of this as we go through each unit. I also use Quizlet to help me remember vocabulary words.

4. Actually do the study guides or Quizlets, they help

I complete the study guides a couple of times. Sounds crazy but it helps me memorize stuff so much better. There are tons of resources out on the internet, use them. Quizlet, Books online etc can all be valuable resources, just got to know what is available. Sometimes my friends will make a Quizlet and we will have the same class and I will use her Quizlet. Why make what's already made for you?

5. Write things out

I love technology and all but I think some of us have gotten away from writing things actually down on a notebook. Believe it or not, it has been proven that physically writing things out helps you memorize things better. I use a notebook for class and color coat my own notes. I also use flashcards for vocab words and color coat them as well. As you can tell I love color coating.

6. Have a study buddy

Personally I study better alone but when I do study with groups we bounce ideas off each other to get a better understanding of the material. It again depends on how you like to study.

7. Eliminate distractions

I used to have a problem with getting distracted from being on my phone and then I'd realize I just wasted 30 minutes scrolling through Instagram when I could have been studying. So turn your phone off or put it where you can't see it because it really does shorten your time of studying without being on it.

8. Use memory games (pneumonic devices) 

This helps me so much! When I am working on a test I always remember pneumonic devices before anything else.

9. Take your time

Don't rush through the material, you'll get it eventually. If you don't know it, highlight it and come back. Also if you have already mastered and memorized a topic, don't keep studying that study the things you don't know and haven't mastered.

10.  Find what works best for you!

You have to find out what works for you and what doesn't. Your study habits are completely unique to you. If something works for you, continue to do that.

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