Number One: Zac Bissonnette’s article from Huffington Post, “The Student Loan Train Wreck: Why the Default Rate Is Just the Beginning”. An analysis of the current state-of-affairs in student loans. This article brings up the very good point that despite the fact that an alarming percentage (20%!) of all loans in repayment since 1995 are in default, that number doesn’t capture the people who have struggled to pay their loans, and stayed out of default, by significantly altering their lifestyle/job/path.
“How many pursued careers that that weren’t passionate about in order to make their monthly payments? How many had to rely on their parents — whose own retirement situations are often dubious — for a bailout? How many had to put off marriage or having children? How many suffered from stress or anxiety as a result of the struggle to make their monthly payments? How many had to skip grad school in order to start making a dent in their debts? 20% tells us how many had their financial lives literally ruined by their debt. But it tells us nothing about how many sacrificed their lives to pay their debt, and that’s the real tragedy of a nation that decided, in the span of a few years, that it makes sense to send 21 year olds out into the world with 5- and even 6-figure debt loads.”
Andy and I have both made some big financial decisions based on our monthly payments for our loans. I believe the loans were worth the education. But it is a hard burden to bear as a young adult hoping to save for retirement/travels/house. We’re looking at an apartment tonight that seems to have all the right features, but is most likely out of our price range because 25% of our income every month goes toward student loans.
Number Two: An essay in the New York Times by Pamela Paul called “The Kids’ Books Are All Right”
about the growing trend of adults reading YA fiction. As some of the best books I’ve read recently have been considered “YA”, I loved reading this article and finally hearing someone vocalize exactly what I’ve been wondering, “Is any other adult reading this stuff?” In fact, they are. As a big Hunger Games fan, I loved this paragraph:
“But I am not embarrassed by my, shall we say, immature taste in literature. And I wasn’t much concerned when, barreling through ‘The Hunger Games’ at the hospital after giving birth to my third child, I hardly noticed whether he ate or slept. When will the rebellion begin, I wanted to know. Which suitor will Katniss choose? Nor am I alone. According to David Levithan, editorial director at Scholastic, Collins’s publisher, roughly half of the ‘Hunger Games’ fans on Facebook are full-fledged adults. ‘The Harry Potter generation has grown up,’ he told me.”