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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7 Truths About Being A Science Major

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Whether your major is Human Bio, Chemistry, Neuroscience or any other that deals with a lot of numbers, theories, experiments and impossibly memorizing facts, you know the pressures of pursuing a career in this field. So without further ado, here are seven truths about being a science major:

1. There is no “syllabus week.”

Coming back to college in the fall is one of the best times of the year. Welcome week has become most students' favorite on-campus holiday. But then you have syllabus week: another widely celebrated week of no responsibilities… Unless you’re a science major that is. While your other friends get to enjoy this week of getting to know their professors and class expectations, you get to learn about IUPAC nomenclature of alkanes on the first day of organic chem.

2. Your heart breaks every time you have to buy a new textbook.

Somehow every professor seems to have their own “special edition” textbook for class… And somehow it’s always a couple hundred bucks… And somehow, it's ALWAYS required.

3. Hearing "attendance is not mandatory," but knowing attendance is VERY mandatory.

Your professor will tell you that they don’t take attendance. Your professor will put all lecture slides online. Your professor will even record their lectures and make those available as well. Yet if you still don’t go to class, you’ll fail for sure. Coming into lecture after missing just one day feels like everyone has learned an entire new language.

4. You’re never the smartest person in your class anymore.

No matter what subject, what class or what concentration, there will always be someone who is just that much better at it than you.

5. You get totally geeked out when you learn an awesome new fact.

Today in genetics you learned about mosaicism. The fact that somebody can have a disease in part of their total body cells but normal throughout all others gets you so hype. Even though you know that your family, friends and neighbors don’t actually care about your science facts, you HAVE to tell them all anyways.

6. There is never enough time in a day.

You are always stuck choosing between studying, eating, sleeping and having fun. If you're lucky, you'll get three of these done in one day. But if you're a risk taker, you can try to do all of these at once.

7. You question your major (and your sanity) almost daily.

This is especially true when it’s on a Tuesday night and you’ve already consumed a gallon of Starbucks trying to learn everything possible before your . Or maybe this is more prevalent when you have only made it through about half of the BioChem chapter and you have to leave for your three hour lab before your exam this afternoon. Regardless, you constantly wonder if all the stress is actually worth it, but somehow always decide that it is.

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What They Don't Tell You About Going To A Large University

Being a little fish in a big pond.

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SGA! Football games! Tailgating! Clubs galore! Events on any given day! Parties on any given night! When you go to a big university, there is always. ALWAYS. something going on. That's amazing.

But with so many ways to get involved, there are that many ways to feel like you aren't doing enough.

Last week, I was talking to a friend of mine who goes to a smaller school. We are both involved in Greek life, but my pledge class has 74 people, while his has 11. The past few weeks, I have met so many new people, but I haven't felt like I've found "my people," yet. I've made plenty of amazing friendships, but most of my efforts are widespread. I study with this person, I go to church with this person, I live with these people, and the list goes on. I'm getting closer to many people, but not finding my consistent go-to people. Because of the small pledge class of my friend, those are already his designated people. There are pros and cons to this. You know you will find your people eventually, but the time being feels like being a little fish in a big pond.

Comparison is the thief of joy. This has never become more clear to me until I suddenly had thousands of new people to compare myself to. Going on social media at any given time can make you feel like you're missing out on something. Even if your time physically won't allow for it, you feel as though you could be doing more. Social media can really make it seem like other people have found "their people," and maybe they have, but most of us haven't and that is completely normal.

It's like moving to a new school when you're a kid, except now, all of a sudden, there is this pressure to have already met your best friends, your people you will spend the rest of college with, and maybe the rest of your life with. But it's an unrealistic expectation to assume you're going to find your people within the first few weeks of college, even the first few months. Meaningful friendships don't happen overnight. The goal should be to stay open minded to friendships that may arise and hopeful for friendships to stick.

All of this being said, I would never want to be any other place than I am right now. Auburn University has had my heart since I was a little girl and it still does. This is just to say, you aren't alone. There are others in your situation right now. College is just a weird transitionary period into adulthood. We don't really know what we're doing yet and we have very unrealistic expectations of what life is supposed to look like. Like little fish in big ponds, we just have to keep swimming and adjust to new surroundings.

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