Reasons Why Student Loans Are Like Braces

I can feel the pain just looking at this photo!
I can feel the pain just looking at this photo! | Source

Braces and Student Loans

You may not believe this could be true, but I believe braces and student loans have a lot in common. Yes, those pesky braces you wore on your teeth as a kid (or maybe even now) were a nuisance. You know what else is a nuisance? Student loans! Yet, you are getting something out of both of them, aren't you?

Money, Money, Money...

The most obvious reason braces and student loans are a lot alike is money. You need money for braces. For that matter, you might need a loan to get them. It costs plenty of money to straighten thoseteeth, but it is worth it, right?

The same goes for student loans. You need a lot of money to go to college and you may not have enough. So you've got to get student loans. In the end, they are going to cost you a lot of money. There will be the interest, monthly payments, having to work extra time, and suffering through terrible penny-pinching conditions just to pay them off.

Ah, it's all about the money.

The Suffering

When I was a kid, I thought nothing could be worse than braces. I had to wear a retainer, a lip bumper, headgear, braces, those weird rubber band things around the braces, etc. Visiting the orthodontist was a miserable time for me. Sitting there each night with achy teeth after visiting the orthodontist was pure torture.

You know what else is torture? Paying back student loans. When I was a kid, I could have never imagined anything would make my life even more miserable than braces, but yes, student loans proved me wrong.

Each day, I don't get to buy the things I want, I can't ever save money, and I'll never have a car... because all my extra money goes to student loans. I would take a job that paid a little less or work a job with less hours, but I can't. I have student loans. But one day this suffering will end!

When It Pays Off

When you are sitting at an office job you don't like, paying back hundreds of dollars in student loans every month, it can be easy to think it was not worth it. The same goes for wearing braces on your teeth. When you sit there picking corn out your braces, and your gums are sore because the orthodontist just tightened your braces, it is easy to think it is a bad idea.

One glorious day, everything changes when you get your braces off your teeth. All of sudden people are complimenting you on your straight teeth. When you look back 10 years later and see all the photos from your childhood, it is then that you realize the truth - you were one ugly, buck-toothed kid. Without those braces, people were going to laugh at you. Maybe not to your face, since that is not very nice. But trust me, you needed those braces and they were probably worth it.

As far as student loans go, unless you are more than $100,000 in debt and you are making minimum wage, that college education will probably make sense. It may not feel like it now, but one day, after all those loans are paid off, you are going to feel like a million bucks... even if you never make a million bucks.

If you are making minimum wage and you swimming in immense student loan payments, sorry about that. You are kind of like the kid that wore braces when his teeth were not that bad at all. Some dentist suckered his parents into it and everyone lives with regret now. There are some cases when braces and student loans just don't make sense.

One day, those student loans will be paid off and you'll have more money than this saved in the bank.
One day, those student loans will be paid off and you'll have more money than this saved in the bank. | Source

Feels Like Forever

Whenever you are suffering through a miserable experience, such as wearing braces or paying back student loans, time feels like it stands still. I remember as a kid saying numerous times the braces were not worth it. Although I do feel like some people may not benefit from braces, most of us wear them for reason. For instance, no one has called me Bucky in years, and for that, I am quite grateful.

Student loans are much the same way. Although I do not feel like college is for everyone, it can benefit many people. As long as students are smart about how much they take out in loans and they are smart about paying them back in an efficient amount of time, in the long run college does pay off.

With the economy being in the toilet right now, it just does not feel good right now. It feels kind of like having sore gums and corn stuck in your braces. One day the economy will improve, those loans will be paid off, and college graduates will have better jobs. Once the student loans are paid off, all the suffering will be worth it. At least, that is what I keep telling myself as I get a little closer to being debt-free each day.

Copyright ©2014 Jeannieinabottle

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Comments 19 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Well, I never had braces, and I didn't have a student loan for college, so I'm going to have to trust you on this one. :) I love how your mind works, and I'm not sure what that says about me. LOL

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thanks, Bill. I've had braces and I am still paying back loans, and trust me, they are both painful. Luckily, I did not have to take out much in student loans, but they are still annoying. I did not get as lucky in the teeth department - my teeth were a real mess! I look back and I think I am lucky I could even manage to chew.

no body profile image

no body 2 years ago from Rochester, New York

The problem with college education itself is that even when you get the education that you can afford the market is flooded because everyone is getting that education. So you decide to put on a second pair of braces and accrue more debt. This time when it is time to get the job you are qualified but so strapped in debt that you can't even breathe. Yes to educate oneself is smart and it is rewarding but can also be a trap that can hurt.

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Yes, the market sure is flooded now. Everybody and their brother has a degree, so it has lost its value. I just hope people see there is light at the end of the tunnel with student loans. One of mine is almost paid off... even if I still don't have the job of my dreams. I do realize without an education I would still be working at the mall.

Eventually college degrees help most people unless they accrued a crazy amount of debt. One of my friends owes a quarter of a million dollars in student loans - that is definitely like paying too much for braces and then you accidentally swallow the retainer in your sleep and practically choke to death.

Thanks for your comment!

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

I never had braces or a student loan BUT I know people who did have one or the other and I'm sure they would agree with you! :)

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

I had both braces and student loans, and they both hurt. You are absolutely right. The student loans hurt so much (at 8% in my day) that I always sent in an extra couple of bucks with my payment coupons even if it meant eating peanut butter and jelly the rest of the month, which sometimes it did. I paid it off early though and was super happy, smiling through straight teeth.

no body profile image

no body 2 years ago from Rochester, New York

My wife and I will be in debt for the rest of our lives with her loans. And she has not been able to finish. She still has to go to complete a degree that will not be enough even when she gets out. The only way to make a difference by schooling is to be schooled in a specialty that needs a specific degree and then be the one that has that. But that will always be a master or doctorate. I really believe that the government loves all the people owing. It has made me very bitter about it. Soon master degrees will not be enough and then doctorates will be what everyone needs.

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 2 years ago from Brazil

I had both but I never made the connection, until now. When I read the title I thought, there is no way she can connect those two, but you did.

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Sunshine625, you are lucky to never suffer through either. It is a challenge at times.

FlourishAnyway, I am coming close to the finish line with one and I have a few more years on the other (that one is a bunch of consolidated student loans). I can't wait!

no body, I agree with you. I think this society encourages people to go into debt... cars, houses, credit cards, student loans. I am tired of it, too. I hope your wife is able to find a better career one day because she went to college. This economy has been rotten for a while, but I do believe one day things will get better... just not soon.

Blond Logic, thank you. It occurred to me I always think my student loans are not paying off, but then I think, before I went to college I worked at Sears. Now I make way more money at an office. One day, this will all work out... the same way I thought braces were not worth it while I was wearing them. Now that I can chew food properly, it all seems like a good idea after all. ;-)

Thanks for your comments!

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas

Boy ain't that the truth! Enough said. Haha. I'll never have mine paid off.

sassypiehole profile image

sassypiehole 2 years ago from the ATL

Articles like these make me GLAD that I'm an idiot. No student loans for THIS loser, but it DOES appear that braces are on the horizon; thanks for the heads up! ;-)

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

shanmarie - I will be glad when the student loans are done... it feels like forever! Thanks for dropping by!

sassypiehole - You are obviously not the idiot. I am the one paying back student loans - not you! I was frustrated with my cousin when he did not go to college. Turns out, he is working as a steamfitter now and getting his company to pay for his classes. He already makes way more than I do, and I am much older than him. Guess he was the smart one in my family after all. ;-) Have fun with the braces; they are not so bad.

sassypiehole profile image

sassypiehole 2 years ago from the ATL

The hub went to Air Force Academy; he's actually smart, but not one iota of common sense. That's where I got lucky... Together, we have the brain of one person. ;-)

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

It is funny how book smarts and common sense don't always mesh together as one.

ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

I wish you could speak with my son's friend, who is forging ahead with a private school, even though he'll owe more than $100,000 when he's done. A public education in his field would have cost him half of that. I just hope he makes it through college, as his family is economically disadvantaged.

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

I hope he is picking a profitable major. Even then, there are no guarantees. I think a lot of people believe they will make plenty of money once they graduate and live the good life. That is just not how it is at this time. I hope it works out for him!

sassypiehole profile image

sassypiehole 2 years ago from the ATL

We balance each other out. ;-)

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 2 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

So true! I love this comparison.

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it.

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