My parents’ choices put them in a position that they weren’t able to financially assist in my college education. That didn’t stop me from becoming a first-generation college graduate. I did it without student loans.
The choice I made was to work summers as a laborer/craftsman helper on petrochemical construction job sites.
My wife and I later made a choice that we would make sacrifices to enable us to cover the cost of our children’s education. We didn’t do without, but we did with much less.
I don’t share my story for accolades because “starting from nothing” stories have been shared by millions of Americans over the course of our country’s history.
This is a story about choices.
We have many choices when considering obtaining a college education. Do I get a job, enlist in the military for GI Bill benefits, get a loan? Take a “gap year” or get started? First-choice higher-cost university or community college?
Major in fields that offer higher demand employment opportunities or select a field of limited demand? Finish or drop out? Party, nice car, fashion statements, spring break or focus on the future? These choices come with various price tags. Who’s responsible for the cost of one’s choices?
There’s discussion of an expectation to have all or a portion of student debt forgiven. I fail to understand the rationale. For each of us, our current situation in life is the result of our personal choices or, to a lesser degree, the personal choices of our parents.
We’ve all made bad choices. However, for better or for worse, we figure out how to live with our choices.
What message will be sent if there should be a blanket forgiveness of student debt? Would the message be that there are no consequences for poor choices? Would the message be that those who made sacrifices and those who met their obligation of paying off their student loans are effectively being penalized for responsible choices?
Rather than the government being in the business of excusing people for the poor choices they make, the government might want to get into the business of helping people make better choices.