College debt is causing students psychological stress

Daniela Perez/Contributing Writer

There’s a voice that creeps in the car stereos of pop-punk fanatic millennials, “Who was I kidding? I can’t get past you; you are the cops, you are my student loans.”

While they feel a slight shock and worry about their $30 gasoline purchase, Brian Sella from The Front Bottoms reminds them symphonically about the existential dread student loans bring. This is a topic that has been on fire within the past few months; with Bernie Sanders proclaiming, the people criticizing and the students suffering, this is clearly up for debate.

Although Generation X criticizes Y’s woes by calling them “lazy” and “easily offended,” inflation is merely a moot point with the modern cost of college tuition. Not only has student debt caused people to declare bankruptcy fresh into their adulthood, it has ignited a psychological and financial stress that hinders this generation’s journey toward success. Undecided freshman, Zak Berkel, describes this worry as “both depressing and anxiety provoking.”

“I’m scared of my GPA going too low to sustain my scholarship,” Berkel said. “Why even sleep when I could focus on schoolwork to avoid paying this unattainable amount?”

In their paper, “Debt and Subjective Well-being,” Purdue University weighed in on this study by mentioning the rather expensive psychological cost. Despite a prevalent rise in students pursuing a college education, the financial cost is also rising along with them.

“These large loans can sometimes be thrown around without us actually realizing the deep impact it has on our lives; causing a psychological and emotional burden,” Louise Tay, a professor at Purdue wrote.

Here at the University, students empathize with these words. While FIU’s public tuition is significantly less than that of other universities, students still struggle.

From the simple observation that involves the raising of hands, 12 out of 25 students in an Academic I lecture hall admitted to paying their own college tuition; this means that 48 percent of students in this classroom alone pay for their own tuition.

One of these students, Vashenya Pierre, a freshman studying communications, not only hates having student loans but believes that the scholarship process isn’t very fair.

“I’ve started applying, but it’s difficult,” Pierre said. “It’s a lot of [unnecessary] questions and I never get a reply.”

Knowing she already has debt, she said, hasn’t caused her any psychological stress but she knows this will change the closer she gets to graduation.

“Since I just started, I’m not worried yet,” Pierre said. “But, I know they’re going to keep adding up, which I don’t like.”

While other students most likely share the same sentiments as Pierre, paying off student debt is just like paying any other type of debt. It cannot be categorized, but it’s a difficult process that can take years to wipe out. Therefore, while applying for scholarships is albeit laborious, it’s crucial. This is why, ironically, when it comes to debt, money can buy happiness.

This generation of college graduates is worried their credit score will not grant them a sustainable environment and this worry will trail on for decades. This is why it’s important for colleges and universities to collaborate with the government to help fund college education. We must remember: a college education is not a commodity.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Image retrieved from Flickr.

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