I can do anything, legally and ethically of course, that I don’t like for a short time period in order to win. What would happen if that phrase were rooted deep down in our bones as we were in college and starting out our lives? At 22 years old you should be really looking towards what God wants you to do in life, not being pushed into the workplace by Sallie Mae and your credit card debt. You should be looking for your own place to live, not moving back into your parents spare room that used to be your room but your dad has turned it into his “naked room.” Yes that’s a reference to Terry Bradshaw in the movie Failure to Launch. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that I watched the movie Failure to Launch and am making a reference to it in this post, or that the room you spent your childhood in now has a 60 year old naked man in it…
The point is, the average college student graduates with $36,000 of student loan debt and $5,200 in credit card debt. Sure they went to have a “college experience,” but now their “college experience” has them. They’re forced into the workplace and in an economy that’s struggling to hire young talent these college grads end up taking minimum wage jobs just to get by and they’re not even able to cover their obligation. Was the college experience really worth it?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m very much pro-education. Beer drinking, video gaming, and 2am hall parties, not so much. But the education part of college I’m all for. The truth is that the average college student spends 45 hours per week drinking and/or playing video games. Instead they could go get a full-time job making $9/hr. (which by the way is a fantastic way to build a resume` and business connections during school) and make $1,400/month, which is more than the amount of tuition at a standard state school. If they did this and went to a junior college for 2 years and then transferred the hours to the 4 year school just this one decision allows them to graduate college debt free and still have plenty of time for a social life while getting a great education and a running start at the job market.
Nobody ever thinks of this though. Both parents and students look at the above scenario like its torture. Parents say, “I want my kid to enjoy college, because they’ve got their whole lives in front of them afterwards.” Students say, “I really want to keep my options open during school…(which really means drink beer and watch Family Guy).” The truth is that they do have their whole lives in front of them and that by taking on debt to finance these years they’ve limited their options coming out of school and have the next 18 years of life spent in debt repayment.
Sacrificing to Win helps you to build wealth. The reality is that 3-4 years of sacrificing the “college experience” really isn’t that much sacrifice. You still get a great education. You still get to build relationships and friends in college. You still have time to play video games. You just don’t graduate with the saddle of debt and a resume` that only says Beer Pong Champion.
Could you have done this in college? How would your current financial position be if you hadn’t taken on debt in college? Did your parents want you to have a “college experience?” Leave your thoughts in the comments.