I did the math last night, painstakingly logging into each website, writing down the information and then putting it all together. In order to put myself through college, I put myself in debt by $69,270.27
I won't lie...when I realized this I was stunned. Walking around the house, even talking to my mother about it, astonished that this world has become such a money grubbing universe that without even owning anything to my name, not a car, a house, no stock portfolio...just a piece of paper that has my name on it, the words 'Bachelor of Arts' written on it in an ornate text.
My degree isn't hand written, it isn't on beautiful paper, its printed on a piece of 8x11 paper. The paper isn't that heavy, granted its not light either. There is even a little golden seal that marks it official, but all it is is pressure placed on the back of the paper.
I've gone over this degree time and again, checking for spelling errors, for printing flaws, anything.
This cheap $5 paper, $10 cover and $3 printing is the result of four and a half years of hard work, this cheap thing cost me so much, that I'm appalled.
Angry really should be a better word.
I fought with sexism, racism, my own depression, numlexia that I didn't even know I had until the end, for this.
And you know what the first thing that popped into my head was once I realized this?
I want them to go back with this paper, I want them to tan a leather hide for me, to hand etch the words into the leather, I want them to carefully write out my name, my degree, everything on this leather.
I want them to do this, while thinking 'Her education cost us 10 grand at best, it cost her 70 grand, and she came back, she demanded we work for our money, she demanded we actually teach these students...'
I want to make a difference in this world, the very same world that tried to screw me over, the same world that wanted to keep me oppressed and shoved into the corner. I'm a bright woman, I know this. I'm intelligent, I'm strong, I never had the motivation I have now...
I want to make people smile in their lives, I want to teach the next generation properly, I want to set up their futures so that we may as an entire race, strive for excellence, not to rip each other off and greedily grub at each other.
This is the beginning of a very hard path for me, and I know I may be alone in many segments of my life, but one thing I know for sure is this...
I'm going nowhere at this current stage in my life.
Each and every day, new 'suckers' are being thrown out into the world, many are stuck with jobs that don't pay the bills, many end up homeless or worse, many give up.
I know what I want to do in life, I just need to start running in that direction, I'm not even going to hope that I don't fall, I'm going to trip, I'm going to stumble, my clothes will get dingy and damaged, my pride will gain the same treatment, but I cannot give up.
Not while more and more people are ending up like me.
Not while more and more people are seeing only drastic options out of this situation.
I should know, I've been in this situation, a friend of mine saved me last night. The night had gone horribly, and I assumed the only issue I had was something small - a fight I had with my brother.
No, my sudden sheer depression, the sudden feeling of...its hard for me to type the rest of that sentence, I'll finish it in a moment...
My friend stayed with me, kept me talking, drew me carefully out of my pit and set me back to as normal as I could get. This isn't the first time someone has saved my life, and I doubt it will be the last time.
I was considering methods of suicide when I talked with her. I knew I needed to get out of that rut, but I neither wanted to, nor was I truly compelled to do so. She took time out of her life, to save my own - and there is nothing I can do to repay that.
My life has been a mix of successes and failures, of great highs, and great lows. I have always set myself up for failure without realizing it, but now I know that for others' futures, I cannot do that again.
Life will never be easy, but when you are left with nothing, you start using everything in your repertoire to gain something out of anything. My life will be but a short blip on the radar, but I'm going to make something out of it.
There are too many problems in this world not to.
But one needs to start somewhere, so I'm going to start here.
There are too many problems in me not to make something out of myself.
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