What To Expect When You’re Expecting to Pay Off Your Student Debt for 30 Years

Congratulations! After years and years of trying, you’ve finally done it: You brought tens of thousands of dollars of debt into your net worth! This is a big moment for you and the people you love—including your favorite corporation–people entities (big shout out to my dawg, Citizens United). Like any proud or reluctant parent, you’re probably filled with questions like, “Can I pawn this off on someone else?” and “Will the government do literally anything to help me with this? No? Seriously?!?” Like your parents, we’re here to give you some unsolicited advice. Here are five tips on what to do when you’re expecting to pay off your student debt for the next thirty years.

1. Invest in Yourself: You’re going to spend a lot of time in the next the-rest-of-your-life worrying about how to best care for your joyous debt pile. Answering questions like “Oh god, how did it get so big?” and “How soon can I ask my partner to pay for it?” will consume a lot of your free time. During these stressful times, you need to remember to take a step back and prioritize yourself. Invest in yourself. Not, like, actual investment. You don’t have the money for that. Lol. However, doing special little things like springing for the good ramen and using the soap stuck in the bottle to make a hand bubble bath in the sink will help to remind yourself that you matter, damnit.

2. Smile: You’re all alone, nobody will help you, and it’s only going to get more difficult with time. But science says smiling can trick your brain into thinking it’s happy—so yay smiling!

3. Appreciate the Process: It took you a lot to get here. Four years and an invaluable anthropology degree brought you to this point. Now that you’ve made it—savor every step of the way. Every time you click submit on the loan site. Every time you check your bank account before going to the grocery store. Every time you tell your parents that, yes, it is truly crazy that monthly subway card prices have gone up by $100 again so, yeah, they may as well just add $200 to your bank account to be safe this time (stop asking about it, mom). Your life will literally never be the same, so you should appreciate every minute of it.

4. Drink: C-O-P-I-N-G! What does that spell? Unending darkness.

5. Never, Ever, Ever Have Another: Your beautiful little bundle of permanent financial instability is so special, you may think about getting another. You’ll see your friends getting another happy lump of crippling debt, maybe one in a little tie or one in a powdered wig, and you’ll be tempted to do the same. Take it from us though: DEAR GOD, DON’T DO IT. You’ll be okay. Sure, you may not be invited to a party or two where everyone went to the same debt adoption center. And yes, it is fun to think about how much of your new, big salary you can sink into your even bigger debt baby, but JUST DON’T DO IT. Follow our advice and you’ll have a chance of becoming an empty nester before you die.

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