A new environment calls for a new form of election.
Fact: I learned more from the mistake of taking out student loans than I did in all four years of college.
If I could do it over, I would take out one tenth of the loans and fund some projects that would give me the exact same skill set I have now, but in half the time it took me to find those ridiculous extra-tall twin bed sheets for my dorm room.
But for those of you also paying hundreds of dollars to Sallie Mae month after month, there is a bright side. Taking out student loans was one of the worst decisions I (and you) ever made. So let’s all feel better about all our other decisions.
- Drunkenly eating a Wendy’s pretzel bun cheeseburger that I bought two days earlier, then waking up next to it and finishing it? Gross! But not as bad as the time I took out student loans.
- Giving a guy my number and not realizing he was the kind of douchebag that would ask me for my address at 3 am, and when I never replied to his following 12 text messages, he wrote “U GAY?” Poor judgment! But not as bad as the time I took out student loans.
- Saying “YOLO!” in front of people I respect? For shame. But not as bad as the time I took out student loans.
Another bright side? I always have someone to talk to.
My loan collectors call me daily. I used to feel the sting of each dollar I owed every time my phone rang. So I changed the game. Now I feel excited to try out my new bits! Sometimes, I pretend like I’m a little kid watching Inception and I have a lot of questions! Or when I’m feeling really low, I like to work out issues that are too difficult for my therapist. I feel confident that I’ll be through my daddy issues with another five years of daily check-ins.
I no longer fear love or commitment.
You know how your parents’ marriage fell apart because they bought a house and took on a mortgage and then a second mortgage and the financial stress slowly eroded their love? Well, that will never happen to me or you! Our credit is now shit; we will never own anything in life. Let us go forth and love fearlessly in a studio apartment for two. Hello, suitors.
I will always follow my dreams.
Sometimes I really, really don’t want to follow my dreams, because it means I might walk into a room where a casting agent says, “You must be the dog girl!” and I say, “I think I’m supposed to be the mom?” and they sigh heavily and say, “Just look at your dog,” and I glance into the corner of the room, and they say, “Really look at it! Look at the dog!” and I look harder at the corner of the room, and they say, “Thank you,” and I wonder if I saw the dog enough to pay my rent next month.
However, I took out a shit ton of loans to follow my dreams. I’ve invested too much to give up on them and get a more practical career. If I was an idiot for going into debt, I’d be even bigger idiot for not following through on the thing I went into debt for.
I should take out more loans!
I’ll never be able to pay back my student loans. Might as well not be able to pay them back while riding in a hovercraft. That’s right, I’m off to buy a hovercraft. They exist now; they’re real.
Bad decision, you say?
Hey, at least it’s smarter than the time I took out student loans.
Chelsea Devantez is a member of The Second City Touring Company and performs in The Second City’s Improv All-stars and Improv Extravaganza Explosion. She and her bff created the series Modern Women, and their pilot, www.