Okay, so we have all been told the American Dream is a life of luxury. We’ve also been told that a college education is the only way to financial freedom.
In 2008, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Abilene Christian University and immediately expected a chance at the good life. You know… lots of money, nice vacations, cars/clothes, boy was I ready. Welp, the Great Recession was starting and few graduates were able to secure jobs. It felt like my resume was being used to wipe posteriors. So I returned to ACU for graduate school for more qualifications. Mainly to make the companies “sorry” for not hiring me in the first place.
Two years later, I found myself in the same recession, no job prospects and one expensive master’s degree in Organizational Communication. It was a sad time, no one, not even the university’s career services could help me. “Why did I even go to college?” was the question I asked myself.
From 2011-2013 my professional career was nonexistent. It was difficult to remain employed past six months. I heard excuse after excuse as to why my “services” weren’t needed anymore lol. The worst time I’ve ever had on a job was working for a retailer as a service clerk during the holidays. Shortly after Christmas, supervisors would conduct “performance evaluations” on me almost daily. These “evaluations” would last at the most two hours to explain my incompetence as a cashier. For a college graduate with a master’s degree, this was a slap in the face. As I understood the company was overstaffed and desperately needed to lay off workers, but unwilling to pay unemployment.
My pursuit of the American Dream became a nightmare. To add insult to injury, I knew that I borrowed money to fund my education, but did I really borrow $85,308.07 !? Why did I choose to pay such a high cost for higher education? Limited job prospects, minimum wage earnings and debt are the polar opposite of expectations for college graduates. Follow me as I take you along my journey of paying back student loans and reversing the effects of chasing the American Dream.