How My Obsession With Furnishing A Future Put Me Nearly $40,000 In Debt

In April of 2009, I was 22, debt-free, and a month away from graduating from an expensive, private liberal arts school whose primary focus, beyond education, was the careful comfort of its 2,000 students. This was a place where free cocoa was dispensed in the library lobby beginning at midnight, where students could invent and design their own major, and where parents—from their darkened dens—could elect to send ‘Spoil ‘em Long Distance’ care packages from the college’s online bookstore; they were delicate wicker baskets containing pucks of brie and water crackers. My parents—a pharmaceutical chemist and French teacher who’d fallen in love on that same campus—had paid my tuition in-full, an average of $48,000 a year, insisting there was no need to apply for student loans or even federal aid. It was a gift, they told me simply—something they could easily afford, and would. READ MORE