Did anyone else have the typical delusions about adult life after graduation?
Like, the dream where you’ll have traveled around the world by the age of 29, have a downtown loft full of natural light, and throw epic parties that involve aerial performers and wine in fancy decanters? All while sporting six-pack abs despite spending zero time at the gym?
Just me? Huh.
Anyway. Chances are you had some kind of delusion of grandeur on the cusp of adulthood—only to have that dream cruelly smashed when you wrote your first student loan check.
If you’re currently in the throes of adulting with student loans, maybe these thoughts will sound familiar …
See also: 11 Hilarious Memes About Adulting and Money
If you’re like the average student borrower in the class of 2016, you owe about $37,172 in student loans. With that kind of debt, you could either save up for a down payment on a house or pay back your loan.
Looks like you’re never getting rid of your roommates.
Wedding? Kids? Quit your job and backpack South America? LOLOL
One of the most detrimental things about student loan debt is how it can quash your dreams.
Something audacious—like a big travel adventure, starting your own business, or taking a dream job that doesn’t pay a lot—can be doable if you’re smart about the financials. With student debt, those big dreams start to look impossible.
There’s hope, though. Read more about how you can achieve one audacious dream even with student loan debt ... see How to Run Away and Work On the Beach.
You consider opening a 0% APR credit card just to pay back student loans
Chances are you’ve gotten one of those splashy 0% APR offers in the mail and gone, “Hmmm.” We’ve all done it.
It’s a bad idea, though. How bad of an idea? Oh, just introductory-rate-is-introductory, paying-two-interest-rates-at-once, potential-debt-catastrophe bad.
The bottom line? That 0% APR offer is temporary—and as soon as it ends, your interest rate will rocket to the sky.
You Google “faking own death” frequently
It’s true—if you die, your student debt gets canceled (at least the federal kind). It's enough to make you dream of throwing your own funeral and running away to Tahiti.
I don’t need to tell you this is a bad idea, though, right? Whatever, I’m telling you just in case. Do not try to fake your own death. Number one, you’ll get caught. Number two, you’ll go to jail.
Faking your own death isn’t technically illegal. But to pull it off, you’ll have to commit a lot of crimes, including using a fake ID to start a new identity, conspiracy, evading taxes, and more. (What? It’s not like I haven’t Googled this too).
As painful as paying off your student loans is, it’s better than jail...right?
You still have this futon in your house
...And now you know what I generally spend my time searching for on YouTube instead of working. (I'm also big on baby sloth videos.)
No, frozen peas and peanut butter is not a meal
With the amount you have to work, who has time to cook? Seriously.
Eating out is quick and convenient—and delicious. But it’s pricey. And eating at home (if you’re like me) often involves cobbling together weird ingredients that you eat in a bowl over the sink. (Or maybe this is just me.) (Tell me this isn’t just me.)
But sometimes it’s more effective to save on big expenditures than stop doing the fun things that make life worth living. So, go ahead and Seamless your dinner for the next three nights—I won’t judge, obviously.
But maybe it’s worth it to do some easy cooking after that? Seriously, who knows what’s in those cans of beans you’ve been eating.
Adulting? You’re actually great at it
Here’s the thing. Adulting isn’t about having matching dinnerware or going to the opera a lot or having no debt. It’s about knowing how to survive and even thrive—despite difficult challenges.
Your student loan debt isn’t pretty. It’s not fun. But it’s made you creative in finding ways to live your life despite the debt. It’s made you strong, with the mental fortitude to keep going with the hope that things will get better.
Things will get better.
Want to save a couple hundred on your student loan every month? See if you’re Refi Ready.