Welcome to our special section, Thrive on Campus, devoted to covering the urgent issue of mental health among college and university students from all angles. If you are a college student, we invite you to apply to be an Editor-at-Large, or to simply contribute (please tag your pieces ThriveOnCampus). We welcome faculty, clinicians, and graduates to contribute as well. Read more here.
The following article was taken from my upcoming book, titled What They Won’t Teach You. It has been repurposed for this article on Thrive Global. My book will be available on Amazon in July 2019. Enjoy!
NOW is the time to invest in yourself and NOW is the time to be proactive about it. Look, I am in college and I understand why most people are there and why most people go. But what I don’t understand is that these students are willing to study for hours and days on end for stuff like chemistry, astronomy, calculus, and all that other curriculum. Then, on the contrary, they spend no time learning about basic finance and business. And yea sure, you’re most likely paying a pretty penny to attend college and take those courses, but what happens when you leave?
Well, most students who attend college will take on debt. Funny enough, that is where they leave you off at. They will send you into the real world with a backpack of debt, and no tools or education on how to even get rid of it. There really is no system in place to teach this stuff, and you do NEED to know it because that debt is NEVER leaving you. You are trapped in now because you can’t even declare bankruptcy against student debt now. It will literally go with you all the way to your grave.
Now, I don’t mean to scare you or worry you, but I do want to make you more aware of what is actually happening now because most people don’t truly get it even if they say they do. Now, you have piled up $200K in debt after getting your masters in business marketing. Wow, congratulations on your great success! Now, you take that piece of shiny paper and you use it to get a good job, one that will pay $60K a year. Well, if you take that job then you will be broke. See, you still have $200K to pay off and you’re only making $60K a year. There is also interest on that $200K and I promise you that it will add up faster than you could ever imagine. Then, 10 years go by, you have a wife/husband and kids and you finally pay it off. 10 years after getting your piece of paper, you can finally KEEP that $60K that you make because of your degree.
This case is way too common. It is sickening and just sad to witness happen over and over again without people taking notice or making any effective changes. And, this is why you absolutely must be proactive about investing in yourself. Nobody is going to hold your hand in life and help you out of these types of situations. College might hold your hand and walk you through their curriculum, but where do they go after that? You have to remember that college is a business. They are in the business of making money.
So, it is in your best interest to learn about these things before you have to face them in life. Get a head start. I can’t imagine how shitty of a feeling it is after you finish 6 years of harsh and intense schooling and then you have to work and be extremely loyal for another 10 years to finally start making some money. That just sounds so terrible, but it is happening to a ton of graduates because a lot of people are clueless and uneducated.
There are so many ways to be proactive about these kinds of things as well. You have time now. If you are still in college, you absolutely have time. Make it your goal to graduate debt free, you literally can do this with the help of the internet and all the amazing opportunities it has opened us up to. Start a side hustle and make a few racks a year, it will help. More importantly, educate yourself about the financials, how to pay off debt, how to build your line of credit to a good standing point, and so on.
All of these things matter just as much as that biology test that you have tomorrow or the statistics project that is due this week. It matters, but it doesn’t get the attention it deserves, so it is all in your hands to be proactive and alert about things like these.
Subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.
More on Mental Health on Campus:
What Campus Mental Health Centers Are Doing to Keep Up With Student Need
If You’re a Student Who’s Struggling With Mental Health, These 7 Tips Will Help
The Hidden Stress of RAs in the Student Mental Health Crisis