Dealing with Buyer’s Remorse on Student Loans: You’re Not Alone

Buyer’s remorse usually has to do with large purchases like a new car, a new television or even a house. But, few people think that buyer’s remorse could actually pertain to student loans. And trust me, college student buyer’s remorse really does exist.

It is drilled into the just slightly formed younger generations’ minds that going to college is pretty much the only kind of promise of getting where you want to be in life. Want to travel? Buy that dream home? Do you have an ideal career in mind? The only way you’re going to get any of that is if you go to college.

From grammar school to senior year of high school, you are told you must go to college to become anything of value in adulthood.

Do people actually want to go to college or do they assume they don’t really have a choice? Regardless, colleges today are raising their prices each year. In the 2015-2016 school year, the average cost of college was over $32,000 per year. Some schools cost upwards of nearly $60,000. To put that in perspective, that could equate to just one person’s salary for an entire year. How are people supposed to afford it? Because, remember, you have to.

 Enter student loans.

Many students know they have to go to college and they’re willing to do what they can, or what they know, in order to get there. For many people, student loans are the only option. You take out your student loans, go to college and do what you got to do. Then, comes graduation. The months leading up to this day are full of the constant, agonizing question, “So, what do you plan on doing after graduation?” I am warning you, the question never expires and each and every time you hear it, you’ll want to bang your head against your cinder block dorm room wall.

The reason that question is so stressful is because you yourself are still trying to figure out the answer. You have absolutely no idea what you’re going to do after college. You just know that you entered this place to get a good-paying job, so that’s what you should be doing, right? And don’t forget, you only have six months to find one before you have to start paying off your student loans.

Although you will eventually find a job, I don’t promise that it will be good-paying because I am sorry recent college graduate, but you are the low man on the totem pole.

As you go on your merry way in the new world of adulthood, setting your adult alarm clock, dressed in your new adult clothes, living your new adult life, gone are the late nights hanging out with friends, the mornings waking up 5 minutes before having to shuffle your lazy butt to class and the days of skipping class just because you can. However, your college life still exists in the form of those lovely student loans.

Student Loan Regret

Your overwhelming amount of student loan debt hangs over your head and each time the thought of those loans enters your mind, you cringe, get a little nauseous and wonder if it was all even worth it.

When I was gearing up to head out to the private four-year school I attended, I had just finished two-and-a-half years at a local community college and was so excited to start a new chapter of my life at my dream school. I had no student debt from community college, but just took out over $50,000 in a student loan. Despite having the choice to go to a state school and only having to take out a third of that amount, I was still determined to go to my dream school because I believed it would give me everything I ever wanted out of life and would give me the chance to achieve my goals. The state school would not provide the same results, I thought.

After two full years, I am in way over my head in student loans and I constantly wonder, should I have just gone to that state school? My career path totally changed. I definitely don’t have the same goals and dreams that I did when I first started out, and that was the whole reason I went to that school in the first place. I would have probably received the same education and had similar experiences. I probably would’ve made better friends, felt more comfortable and I definitely wouldn’t be drowning in so much debt.

The thoughts run constantly through my mind. Do I regret going to that college? I try not to regret anything in life because I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my past decisions or experiences. You shouldn’t regret it either, but you are not alone in your feelings of being completely overwhelmed and having the constant aching question of whether you made the right choice or not.

Bottom line is that you can’t live your life in “what ifs?”. What if I went to that other school? What if I didn’t go to college all together? What if I majored in something else? You are here and you are you and that’s all that matters. Believe it or not, all it could have taken was one experience, or a certain skill set learned at that school, that one friend, or the one internship on your resume to get you where you are now. It may not be exactly where you want, but as long as you keep going, you will get there and it will pay off.

Who knows, if I went to that state school I could’ve been worse off than I am right now. Truthfully, if you didn’t go to that school you went to or are currently at, you might have been worse off than if you took any other alternative route. You don’t ever know, and that’s why you can’t live on what ifs.

Just remember, you are exactly where you are meant to be at this very moment and everything in life is temporary. If you’re struggling this week, you might be better next week. If you are working at your first job after college, it is not your forever job. You will get where you want to be and the college that you think you shouldn’t have gone to has nothing to do with it.

Are you currently struggling with student loan buyer’s remorse? Tell us how you cope in the comments section below!



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