——– As a teacher with several years’ experience teaching in college-prep schools, I will now impart the wisest thing I can think of, to all future high school graduates:

DON’T GO TO COLLEGE. Yes, you read that right.

That’s a loaded statement, of course so please read on. DO GO TO COLLEGE, if you’re serious and know what you want to pursue. Don’t just do it because you have no idea what you want to do with your life. You’ll figure it out soon enough, with or without college. Join the Army or the Navy in the meantime. Take up sports. Be a cop or a paramedic. Do something productive. Don’t waste your best years in college. But most of all, don’t waste your money so quickly on such a decision. Especially if you don’t have it.

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Why do I say this? I spent nearly ten goddamned years pursuing a degree. Because it was the right thing to do, said my parents, and my parents’ parents before them. They were Depression-Era people; what the heck better did they know? College meant improvement, a chance to rise above mediocrity and minimum-wage.

Then there were these dirty nasty thing called financial companies, who wanted to make money out of nothing (see: mortgage crisis). So they sold the idea that, look, as students you need money to survive, right? Unless you live with mommy and daddy, you can’t pay for all those things you need, right? Rent, food, gas or transportation money, the bright, shiny laptop you’ll need to write papers and play on Facebook with… anyway, you’ll need it, trust us. You can always repay this, and they’re low on interest. Oh, what sweet lies did they lull us with.

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They didn’t say that it would be a rough economy, and one out of three would be unemployed or under-employed. They didn’t say the economy would suck in three to five years. And worse yet, they never said they would wait, in the eventuality that you couldn’t find steady work. So after several years of futile labor, trying to make ends meet and pay past obligations, the heavy roof of debt finally caved in, and I could no longer make reasonable payment obligations, without some sort of disadvantageous arrangement. Forget about getting that nice house (heard about the mortgage crisis?). Forget about having children now (heard of child cruelty?). In fact, student loan agencies have done one thing that not all of the bullies in all of school could do: Deprive men and women of their lives and souls. This is tyranny of the highest accord.

The blame isn’t solely on financial aid organizations, like EdFund (Number One on my Shit List), Sallie Mae, et. al. The biggest other Judas in this conspiracy are the colleges, who deceived most students by misrepresenting the facts: It’s realistically not possible to live on a budget while paying for school. It’s okay to pay for school as you go along, without having to incur serious debt.

No. Instead of taking care of the students in their charge, instead they milked them for several thousand dollars they could indenture them to. They ensnared these people in the dire straits of Scylla and Charbydis, and without a proper raft, damned them to sink in the whirlpool of debt. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

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Unfortunately, it seems too late for the likes of me and several hundreds of thousands of others who have fallen into that trap and defaulted. So in case you’re curious, we are now being hunted down as financial fugitives, seeing our meager livelihoods garnished, in arrears. For the simple reason that we couldn’t repay our loans, because our economy had failed us. So much for “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive those indebted to us.”

Remembering a line in The Shawshank Redemption: “The funny thing is – on the outside, I was an honest man, straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook.” So what do they want us to do, prove that we’re dying so that they don’t chase us?  Die?  Rob banks?

It’s not too late, however, for the several thousands, and millions, who are in college, or about to go to college. I am being exclusive in this address. If you can afford the money, if mommy and daddy will cover the cost, or if you’re paying as you go, then go in there, and seize your education. But don’t let these goddamned crooks for colleges decide your financial future.

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Don’t let these bastards get a cent more from you. Above all, don’t fall in love with your school. Don’t let them seduce you into thinking that you belong to them. They should belong to you, and kiss you hand and foot. It’s your education. (Whatever you do, don’t take your frustrations out on the professors; but do give college administrators a hard time when you’re able to.) Do NOT give them a red cent more, not for frivolous building projects that are meaningless to you, not useless alumni organizations which waste your time. Your college, your university, must dedicate their resources to YOU. Not a grantor or a donor.

YOU and YOU alone.

However, if you’re poor, and if you’re in no position to even start… then STAY OUT OF COLLEGE! I am pleading for you to do this, I’m saying this, because I care. Because YOU need to save your hard-earned dough, and put it to good use, when the time is right. PAY AS YOU GO. Don’t belive the Lie of Loans. Don’t ever, EVER let these scum-sucking student loan agencies dupe you into believing that loans are the only way to go. Get grants, BUT NO LOANS. This vitriol is spewed, not just because I want my fellow Americans to save their hard-fought wages from the wolves. I also want to deny these Bastards their livelihood. And for each American student who says a resounding NO to loans, they lose several thousand more. Several thousand more, multiplied by a few thousand, or a few million, begets a billion that these people will lose. When you attack your enemy, you do not just go through politics. You do not just fight your battle; you see the whole picture and see the war. Make them pay, and pay in spades. Make them bankrupt, and they will be forced to beg, as they should, as they made use beg. Do not rely on your politicians to fight for you, but learn to do it yourselves. Alone, we are powerless, but if we all take a stand and refuse to take any more student loans – then they will feel that pain. And THAT is how you do it. You twist that garrote until they start to feel pain. Pay them back, as they paid you; if they aren’t willing to forgive your debts, then make them bleed. Let these — and the schools they whore — that education isn’t so important that you have to sign away your life and livelihood and live indentured. This is Your choice, and you can achieve your dreams without being swindled and without their chicanery. For those of us who have already been fleeced, we have a long battle still, and some of us may perish. But for those of you who haven’t gone that road — choose, and choose wisely, My Friends. That is all I implore, and keep up the fight.

Here is a great article about one Man fighting this battle, and his site:

Inside the Student Loan Scam

Student Loan Justice

This is a reprint of an article first posted on May 9, 2009 at WordPress.com.

Copyright Anabasius 2009

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