There’s no doubt about it, student loan debt is an epidemic in this country. With a $1.7 trillion debt shared by 45 million Americans, we simply cannot ignore the effect that this mounting crisis is having on the individual as well as the economy. The only option is debt forgiveness. And while we’re on the topic of forgiveness how about also forgiving me for constantly flashing a peace sign in the early aughts!?
College is a confusing time. You can’t expect young adults to fully understand the impact that borrowing massive sums of money from government institutions or looking so stupid in photos will have on their future. We simply have to find a way to put this all behind us so we don’t have to live in a perpetual state of shame and regret – for the debt, but also for all of those photos of me and the peace sign that are still far too easy to find on Facebook.
And I know what you’re thinking – forgiveness isn’t fair to those who already paid off their debt or who didn’t flash a war symbol every time a digital camera showed up, but we need to think about the historical structures that got us to this point in the first place. I am totally in favor of personal responsibility but not when it feeds an inequitable system of power or when it’s embarrassing for me, specifically!
I totally understand that the idea of broad-stroke forgiveness is divisive at best just think about how life-changing it would be for the millions of Americans struggling with their hefty monthly payments and also for me who shudders every time I think of all the people who still think of me as “peace sign girl”.
It’s time to ask ourselves what kind of society we want to live in. How long should we be plagued by these insurmountable debts? Do we want a sustainable economy or for me to be able to look through old photos without cringing? Is there anything less dignified than a 7% interest rate or the memory of me flashing a peace sign while behaving like an absolute nightmare? It’s time for all of us to move on.
I know it’s a controversial topic, but I for one believe that anything we can do to alleviate human suffering should be done. We need to strongly consider our values as a country and why it would benefit all of us to relieve millions of people of this insurmountable financial burden and me of the burden of being so goddamn annoying for so many years.
Peace and love!