Cutting off fingers, STDs, and other wonderful things we’d consider for student loan forgiveness

Graduates in Cap and Gown --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis via flickr Creative Commons
Graduates in Cap and Gown — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis via flickr Creative Commons

Apparently, I’m not the only student debtor who would maim themselves in exchange for loan forgiveness. Better yet, some would rather move to a constantly war-torn country for life just to rid themselves of student debt.

From a recent survey of 513 graduated student loan borrowers, 56 percent of respondents would get decked in the face by Mike Tyson if it meant no more student loan payments. Maybe they assumed this would be modern Tyson and not 1997, crazy ass biting Holyfield’s ear off Tyson? Perhaps. But, slightly over 6 percent would straight up cut off their pinky for a debt free life. Which to me shows a potentially lucrative black market exchange program of body parts for Sallie Mae credit.

LendEDU, a marketplace for student loans and student loan refinance, published their findings in February 2016.  LendEDU stated, “the results of our survey are fun, surprising, and demonstrate the lengths that Americans may go to payoff their debt.”

Here are the reported responses:

  • 57.89 percent of borrowers would give up all social media for life
  • 57.11 percent of borrowers would give up coffee for life
  • 56.73 percent of borrowers would take a punch from Mike Tyson
  • 56.14 percent of borrowers would abstain from alcohol and drug use for life
  • 40.35 percent of borrowers would take one year off of their life expectancy
  • 35.67 percent of borrowers would give up texting for life
  • 28.07 percent of borrowers would name their first born daughter Sallie Mae
  • 20.47 percent of borrowers would wear the same outfit, every day, for life,
  • 6.47 percent of borrowers would cut off their pinky finger
  • 4.68 percent of borrowers would move to Syria for life
  • 4.09 percent of borrowers would contract a random sexually transmitted disease (STD) for life

Millennials, my generation fueled by cheap labored electronics and dank memes, are willing to give up social media and texting!?

American student debt is growing by $2,726 every second. It’s an immense problem that now impacts our social structure. For instance, the American Student Assistance (ASA) reported that college-related debt has influenced 29 percent of student loan borrowers to put off marriage and 43 percent of borrowers to delay starting a family.

In literal terms, the human-fucking-species is slowing down because of student loan debt.

“Student debt weighs on every decision I make, from food shopping, to where I choose to live, to how I spend my free time, to what clothes I wear, and ultimately, what career I choose.” – ASA survey respondent, 2013.

Aside from daydreams of finding a crossroads, summoning the devil, and trading my soul for a debt free status, I usually just fantasize about never going to college in the first place. Next to a house, a college degree is probably the most expensive thing someone my age will buy. Yet given the social norm and borderline expectation of attending college, it’s given a minimal amount of thought whether or not it’s the right choice. Would I work in my current field without my $27,000 piece of paper? Probably not. But, would that matter? Statistically speaking, shit no.

As reported by CNBC, a 2013 Gallup poll of 150,000 surveyed full and part-time workers found that 52 percent were disengaged and uninspired by their work. Even worse, roughly 18 percent of those surveyed actively hated their jobs enough to spread Squidward-status woe throughout the company. Gallup noted those belonging to the bluesy 18 percent cost the U.S. up to $550 billion annually in lost productivity.

After having some form of job for a decade, I’ve realized most gigs (not all) will feel like the music playing while placed on hold when calling a business. Sure it’s nice to have, and you definitely notice if it’s not there, but you don’t feel that J. Cole or Drake hypeness when jamming the top 10 tracks brought to you by U.S. Bank.

Some jobs come with free coffee in the break room, some come with opportunities to steal entire boxes of frozen popcorn shrimp, some let you drink after hours at the bar nearly free, most come with a new weed hook-up, but they all generally feel like waiting in line at the post office.  Of course, there are folks working true passions, or perhaps see the true value of their labor for society. But, unfortunately, these people are in a minority (30 percent according to the Gallup poll mentioned above).

A professor once told me in undergrad that eventually, a college degree will be worth what a high school degree was a generation ago. That was the point at which I should have dropped out and picked a reasonable profession like carpenter or electrician. Not only because trade or vocational schools are significantly more affordable AND come out with roughly the same pay compared to many four-year degrees, but also for their practicality. When are buildings or electricity ever going away? Hell, if I’m going to more or less loathe my job for the majority of my adult life, I might as well come in handy if society were to ever collapse.

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