Today was very frustrating for me. I was on the subway platform, sitting on a bench, and I saw two girls that were discussing outlining and its virtues. Of course, I took the opportunity to ask them about law school. One of the girls had a contracts textbook on her lap. The look of it made me cringe at the memories.
"So, do you girls go to law school?"
"Yah, you're a lawyer? Do you like it?"
"Well, how much I like it is inversely related to how much it pays. When I liked it the most, I earned no money. When I liked it least, I made a killing. Now, I'm trying a solo practice, so the work is interesting and far from lucrative."
"Just make sure you live like a student when you're a student, or you'll live like a student when you're a lawyer."
"Do you live like a student now?"
"I have a scholarship, so that won't be a problem for me."
"Yes. I live like a student. I actually always have. I don't remember the last time I bought a pair of shoes. Is your scholarship related to your GPA."
"Well, yes... but it shouldn't be that hard to maintain it. I want to do public interest work, but I'm not sure I'll be able to do it and live around here."
"Do you have a trust fund?"
"Well, then you can't."
"There's great income based repayment programs through our school."
"What school is that? NYU?"
"No. Seton Hall."
"Oh. Have you heard of Big Debt, Small Law--the guy who writes that went to Seton Hall and he's trashed it from here to high heaven. The Dean of your school even offered to find him a job to make him shut up."
"Yah. Job market sucks. Our Dean told us that only 94% of last year's class is currently employed."
"And you believe him???? Okay, this is my train. Bye!"
So, if that exchange wasn't bad enough, I ran into the semi-retarded guy that I've mentioned before. I don't exactly know where on this blog, but I'm sure I did. The background story is that he wants to be a Ph.D. in sociology and an elementary school teacher and a career guidance counselor. Whatever, he doesn't have a mental capacity to do it. That's a fact. He can hardly speak english and I'm pretty sure it's his native tongue. So, he's my neighbor and last we spoke I told him to stop focusing on school if he is pulling out loans to go. He should concentrate on moving up the ladder at the local Blockbuster and becoming a store manager. At that time, he insisted that he could get financial aid and was very happy about transferring to a four year university.
Today, I see him and he has news for me.
"I'm on academic probation. I got an 'F' and I'm so upset. They don't understand my disability. Plus I lost my job and that's stressing me."
"That sucks! What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to talk to the professor about changing the "F" to a "D"."
"Okay.. I'm going to suggest this: why don't you take some time off of school and get yourself together financially so you can concentrate. You aren't pulling loans out for this, right?"
"I have a great financial aid package."
"Does that include loans?"
"Ya... but it's a good interest rate."
"You will never ever ever be able to get rid of your students loans. You have to die to get rid of it. You could be compulsive gambling, shopaholic, irresponsible credit card bill payer... and you can get rid of that debt. You can't get rid of student loans though, ever."
"I watch lots of documentaries. I know about student loans."
"Well you didn't know that they weren't dischargeable. Consider giving school a break. I got to go."
Sometimes I feel like no one is reading this blog. With all the information out there, how do you not KNOW that your Dean is a liar and that student loans follow you to the grave?
People are so frustrating.
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