Are Student Loans Stunting Our Maturity?

As I sit here on my parent’s couch over Easter break listening to Steve Angello’s Essential Mix at 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night… I begin to foresee my future.

**Fast forward 6 months. Diane is sitting on her parent’s couch on a Friday night eating a box of Cheez-itz alone with her dog, watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall or some other movie she has already seen 7 times previously.**

Let me start this off by saying I am both optimistic and greatly excited for my “future” in the “real world”; however, I can’t help but notice all of these drawbacks that may trip me as I attempt to leap into adulthood, forcing me to fall flat on my face. And so, it becomes easier to sit on the sidelines under the protection of adolescence than to take the step forward. However, I would argue that it is not only easier, it is almost becoming necessary for young adults to remain “stuck” as children for a longer period of time. And for that, I blame the expenses of college.

To elaborate, why do I foresee my future as spending countless Friday nights sitting on my parent’s couch? Because I don’t see myself being able to financially afford moving out of my parent’s house for <undocumented period of time>. And when I am home, I am boring. Suburbia isn’t exactly the party-scene of America…

Why won’t I move into a city? Oh, I’d love to! However the expenses of city-living and my student loans loathe each other, and I feel as though there would be a lot of tension in the apartment if all three of us attempted to live together. And since I’ve been with my student loans longer, I chose them as my premier roommate.

It’s a vicious cycle.

Student loans= living at home=not living in city= boring social life. 

And so I will remain stuck (luckily stuck, but stuck nonetheless) in my parent’s house, with a refrigerator full with food, Mom’s home-cooked dinners, and free Wi-Fi/cable (‘free’ meaning I personally don’t have to pay for it…)

These are all basic necessities as well as luxuries that I am SO thankful for- Thank GOD I have parents that will let their liberal-arts-degreed daughter mooch off of their Wi-Fi and Cheez-its until she gets a decent job and can start to afford both student loans and a crappy studio apartment with 6 other roommates in some unappealing area of some city some where.

However, as more and more college graduates are forced to move back home due to this vicious cycle of post-college-poorness, are their maturity levels being stunted?

I feel as though having this luxury of ‘home’ will only start to inhibit my attempts to ‘grow up’. I won’t have to budget myself or even my time for food and other basic amenities. College has spent its last four years attempting to teach me how to survive on my own, yanno with a meal plan but it still tried- yet will all that go to waste the more time I spend at home post-grad? Will I start to regress to my high school dependancies?

It is difficult to learn how to grow up until you fully submerge yourself into the life of an adult, and living at home prevents you from doing so.

When looking at past generations, they were moving out, getting married, having children well before or around my age of 22. WHAT. I cannot even imagine that lifestyle. Sure, our generation seems to focus more on careers and so that could be why all of this marriage-nonsense is getting pushed back for us, but could it also be because we simply cannot afford it? That education costs so much that we spend a good amount of our early twenties just coping with the idea of how to pay for food/housing/bills/etc on top of our loans?

I am so grateful that I have a place to live after graduation come May, but my only concern is that the more time I spend at home, the less I will grow up, that the financial burden of student loans forcing me to stay home will stunt my urge to mature into a fully functioning adult. That it will be too easy to be my parent’s little girl using their Wi-Fi and eating their entire boxes of Cheez-its in one sitting…

As much as I love calling my parent’s house my home, as much as I love coming home on the holidays, and as much as I am not ready to leave it quite yet- I hope one day soon I am ready to, mentally, emotionally, and financially.

To summarize, I want this home to be a place I *can* come back to, not one I *have* to because of the pressures of student loans.

Advertisements

The Art of Day Drinking

Day drinking, otherwise known as alcoholism if you are out of college and above a certain age (not sure what this age is, I can only assume it keeps getting pushed back with time such as the age to get married, start having kids, settling down, moving out, etc all do-for those I blame student loans but that’s a different story…I digress…ahem…)

Day drinking is an elusive hobby usually found deep in the confines of a college campus, particularly around St. Patrick’s day.

Day drinking is a favorite among these inhabitants, probably due to its rarity or defiance of normal socially-acceptable inebriation, or perhaps just because we all know in a few years we will be considered legit alcoholics for popping a beer…or three by 11 a.m.

However, there is a certain art, or technique to the appropriate way to day drink that differs from that of night-drinking.

For example, it’s Thursday night around 10 p.m. You are going to the club in an hour and don’t want to wake up the next day with a depleted bank account from the bar. So what do you do to make sure you are sufficient enough to not have to buy drinks? You pre-game. Hard. I’m talking terribly mixed drinks where your mouth literally burns from the amount of Vladdy. You go to the club for say 2, 3 maybe 4 hours, and you come home to pass out from the night’s festivities.

Day drinking is a whole different ball game. Why?

Reason 1. You are not drinking for those 2, 3, maybe 4 hours as you would on a regular drinking-night. You are drinking….ALL….DAY… Early in the a.m. until late in the evening. Therefore, you take it slower. You don’t need to make terribly mixed, painful-to-drink drinks just to come home after a few unmemorable hours to pass out. You actually need and want to make it past noon and still be somewhat coherent.

Reason 2. Therefore you have no real reason to pre-game. Yay! You can save your cheap vodka for Thursday night’s festivities and drink the cheap beer provided instead!

**Sneaking a mini bottle of Bailey’s into the restaurant where you decide to have brunch to add to your coffee is encouraged, however.

Reason 3. Since you have all day and don’t feel the need to be so drunk so fast, you can actually enjoy every stage of the drunken experience.

1-2 beers:  Nothing. My liver has been trained well.

3-5 beers: So this is what buzzed feels like…

6-8 beers “AM I TALKING LOUD? WANT TO HEAR A REALLY PERSONAL     STORY? ALSO I FREAKIN’ LOVE YOU BY THE WAY. I HAVE TO PEE.”

9-10 beers: *Peeing every 10 minutes* *things start to fade out* *you may remember who you were with or what you were saying, but you will definitely not remember both of these at any given time*

10+ You’ll find out tomorrow what happened.

Reason 4: And then you get to experience the slow process of sobering-up (which you never get to experience on a weekend night because you’ll be long asleep during this time.) Although keep in mind you will never achieve this state of “sober” unless you are in for the night, and let’s face it, you’re not.

The process is as follows:

You realize you’ve been drinking all day, start to take it slower, begin to sober up (but never fully do), eat some hot dogs/hot wings/hot pizza, go home, take a short 30-minute nap, wake up still drunk, drink 1-2 glasses of water, drunkenly attempt to apply mascara without poking out your entire eyeball and straighten your hair without burning your neck and having to explain to everyone it’s not an actual hickey, and you’re ready for the night’s festivities which should include your cheap Vladdy that you luckily didn’t use up earlier in the day. Make a really crappy drink to pregame with (although it’s not really needed considering your entire day was basically a preparation-you will definitely think it is and make one anyway) and go meet your friends at whatever party that won’t live up to your day’s rebellious, socially-frowned-upon fun.