I have been on the Quebec’s loans and bursaries system for a long time. I come from a family who didn’t value a good education, so they didn’t have money to spend on it. When I finish high school, 8 years ago, I have decided that I would use the loans and bursaries system to help me achieve my long-time dream: study in university!
After a long and painful time in cégep (6 years to finally decide what I wanted to do and finish my damn multimedia diploma!), I have decided to go to university, even if I had a chance for a full-time job in my domain. I could have decided to work for a year, and repay my 16000$ debt from my time in cegep…but, don’t know, I didn’t feel like I wanted to work. I know that if I take another ‘year’ off school, i won’t go back…ever! I wouldn’t be able to realize my long-tie dream of attending university, and studying in history. Yeah, i know, a degree in History, what will I do in my life with this shit? I don’t know yet if I’ll ever be able to be a ‘star’ student or a performer for the grades, but after a year in the program, I just wish to end it and finish it. I really do enjoy my program, and since I am adding a second major in urban studies, I’ll enjoy it even better.
The last couple of months have been hell for me. In the sense of financial stuff, I didn’t know if I would be able to study and work at the same time for my last two year at university.? My loans and bursaries limit endebtment was slowing attaining the high limit. I was stressing because I wouldn’t have the rights to apply for the last two years, since I would have attain the 25 000$ limit of undergraduate university limit endebtment next year (which would be my 2nd year of 4 at university).
Tonight, when I went to look back at my loans thingy, I look at the ‘relevé’ they did for my next year…and realize that A) they had raise the limit endebtment at undergraduate level at 30 000$, and B) I just had 21 000$ for all my studies in debt. Ok, I can hear some of you having a heart attack just reading the price of my student loan…Anyway, I just realized, I will be able to finally pay for the rest of my university! wouhou! So, if I want to just study and not work during school year, well, I can.
The thoughts that I had, then, were a bit more depressive, thought. What kind of society are we now, leaving our students to attain astronomically high loans for school? Why didn’t we decided, as a society, to invest more in the future of our children and future generations, in their education? What kind of society manage to make us, the students, believe that education is an investment for our future, not a priviledge or a chance?
I had an interesting conversation with my family on the case of my student loan. They were almost dying of shock when I told them the debt I will have when I’ll finish school. I guess around 35 000$. My grand-mother told me “But…you could have bought a new car instead, if you have work!”. My mother just look at me, and she asked me “Are you happy thought, studying?”. I just answered “Yes. Yes, I am.” And my mother just asked the family to stop talking about it. I must admit, it does scare me that I will have such a high loan to repay by the end of university…but, like I told my mom, I don’t want a car (I loath driving! I hate it, hate it, HATE IT!), and I don’t really have a ‘high life’ (some here will look skeptically at me and say “your clothes!, your make-up, etc…”). I have started living more reasonably by the means I have. I don’t really spend a lot anymore. Not that I’m not tempt to…but I manage. But, like I told my mom, I had a dream when I was young, and it was to go to university one day and study what I really wanted: history. Of course, I really don,t know what I will do when I will finish, but I have faith in my future. It has been good up until now (it went from ugly bad to really good in the last 10 years for me and my life), but I have faith it will be better. I am a capable person, and resourcefull too, so I am confident I will manage to find something good after school. I know that the only thing I will really thrive, when I’ll start living my life, would be a house, where I could live with my boyfriend and later raise a family. That’s it. Ok, maybe a little bit of traveling. But that’s it. I’M not scared of paying my student loan by then.
My mom told me today that I really looked happy, even if I was complaining that I had to find a job for the summer (before finding out that I would have more bursaries for this summer). I was happy that she saw it, as it meant a lot to me. She added: “Even if you will have a big debt by the end of it, you should just stop listening to your aunts and grand-mother and study. That’s what making you happy. Or else, I’ll be there to help you out by that time”. You can’t imagine how happy I was. Hearing this from my mother, after all the fights and huge rows we had in the past…I am now feeling happy that I took the first steps in forgiving her and trying to start anew our mother-daughter relationship. I don’t feel guilty studying and accumulating a student loan anymore. I have someone supporting me. And it’s my mom.