An obvious downside to University as a life choice; and one that is referenced towards in a rather nonchalant fashion quite frequently in popular culture, is student debt. This is a pressing issue that affects millions of University students all over the world.
Though some are lucky enough to be able to pursue their higher education in nations that offer this as a free option to all who are able to make the grade (Argentina, Denmark, Scotland, Finland, France, Greece, Norway, Turkey, Brazil), here in merry old England those who want a degree- must be sure they can afford one first.
Actually, that may not be the most accurate of statements. I for one put little thought into the eventual debt (presently standing somewhere around the £20,000 mark…I think) I’d be responsible for upon completion of my three-year undergrad course, in fact- not many people I know did.
A Matter of Justification
One way to justify being slow off the block in paying back this comparatively minuscule debt (at least when sized up against the ludicrous figures being thrown around in day-to-day ministerial affairs), would be to hold back on repayment until you’re securely employed in a position that pays you more per year than the total you owe for your all three years of study. Going by this, George Osborne (and perhaps more relevantly, Nick Clegg who sold a generation of working class undergrads down the river for a ceremonial role in an opposition government, but let’s not get too political here), will be grey, old and hopefully long forgotten before they see penny one.
Another route of justification I see as being fit for employment in this instance- is to just not care all that much. I’m Scottish by birth, though because I was living in England when the time came to apply for a place at University (one poxy mile from the border, no less); I am now accountable for a debt more than twice the size of the amount I made in my first year as a graduate. This just doesn’t resonate properly with me.
Stay in Control
The modern world is built on credit and the expected validation of credit. Credit, in terms of the millions of prospect-less graduates being unleashed into a society unfit to accommodate both them and their newfound skill sets, is nothing more than a few numbers on some soulless financiers screen; an un-elected societal model and a concept (albeit a completely ingrained one) in the purest sense of the word.
Admittedly, far from being the most kosher advice you’re going to receive on the subject matter, I just couldn’t justify to myself releasing onto the internet another one of those god awful vacant, ambiguous and misguided step-by-step debt advice blogs.
Paying up to £9,000 per year for tuition alone, when poorer (or simply just more able) nations throughout the world have the foresight to prioritise the education of their young population, is so vastly unjust on so many different levels that the only way to defeat it is to disregard and de-prioritise as much as we can, and until it suits us.
Stay in complete control of your lives’ trajectory, don’t let the fabricated severity of a debt incurred by the act of learning affect your livelihood or your lifestyle.
Once you’ve taken care of yourself, then you can think about remunerating Mr Osborne - don’t worry, he can afford to cover his own outgoings for the time being.