Education: Burden or Blessing?
Many people go to school for a quality education to find a better job, increase income potential, or just to be simply more educated. Yet there is a darker side to education without representation.
The Only Thing Guaranteed In Life Is DEATH and TAXES!
That being said, taxes are not even a guarantee if you do not live in a civilized society. Most of us do and therefore cannot escape this necessary evil. It might seem mind numbing to some, but taxes are what make our governments move forward, with public programs, infrastructure creation and maintenance, and government backed student loans. Oh what a blessing these loans can be to students who would otherwise never be able to afford college tuition. The key is to use what you need. But what if you are in need of ALL of the loan; not just the tuition costs?
I have pondered on this thought for several years as I have personally achieved academic excellence through the use of government sponsored loans. My total to date now exceeds $100k and I am not even halfway completed with my master's degree. Why is this? Because it is so tempting to assume we need the money that is awarded to us, use it to live off of, buy new things, even pay off other debts. I use to say it was my 'low interest' consolidation loan, because, like many people, I have less than desirable credit.
No hiding from these guys!
However, I have found myself in a position the last several months where I was medically released from my killer job that funded our extravagant lifestyle. To this nature I will not disclose, but it was quite a blow to our entire family, not just those I support in my household. So what did I do? I went back to school! Those student loans will help keep us afloat until something comes around. Or so we hope.
Good versus Evil
Somethings ARE more important than they first seem...
Tonight I find myself in a position of turmoil. Here I am working through my taxes on a night I should otherwise be studying, when I realize what a state I am in. It has been easy to be optimistic up until this point: things weren't going horribly, money was there when I needed it. Now that all sources have been cutoff, my student loans are all we have to get by on, if a job opportunity fails to appear soon. What does this have to do with taxes? For the first time in years, I don't owe any taxes, because I am filing married this year. In fact, I am getting back a refund, one of proportions I have yet to see in my working life. Yet this is still not very comforting, knowing that this tax return will only pay bills, and feed my family for one additional month on top of my very expensive student loans. This gives me pardon until the end of April.
January has not been too lucrative in the job market; but it's not keeping me down. I just keep looking, every day, lowering the bar just a little bit more on what I am willing to accept for work. What with my massive 6 digit student loan debt and caring for a family of 5 looming over my head and all. You would think someone completing their masters degree should be able to command more than a couple of dollars above minimum wage. Not the case in most aspects; REAL WORLD experience counts for more than education in almost any field, unless you plan to enter into an institution of higher learning.
Experience connects the dots of education
So what's this about taxes?
Back to taxes. So here I sit, 6 hours into my tax return, thinking that I hope this is all worth my time. Sadly, it doesn't matter if it's worth our time or not. Uncle Sam will use his mighty fist of governance to ensure we feel it is worth our time, or at least our pocketbooks. Yes, April 15th is a long way off still, but with the accrual of my student loans, and the studies that go behind making them worth even a portion of what they will cost me in the end, I have to make the time somewhere. It's like being married and/or having kids; if you don't make time for them, that's when things can go sour.
I love my wife and kids, I enjoy actually getting my monies worth out of my studies, so no thank you, I am not going to just blow these things off for my dear uncle. Yet still, it is worth my sanity, and the few extra dimes that might help out our cause, to just do what I am supposed to do, like every other person that has to do their part. I'm not special, just part of the greater whole, that defines who we are as a society. Just one more cog in the machine.