One time, a while ago, I was the naive 18-year-old pumped for college. Since I was 12, it was my intention to receive a college education to be a part of something bigger than myself, to advance my life in ways I wouldn’t otherwise, and to walk across that stage. This automatically meant I was achieving the American Dream.
My dumb ass fantasy of a fulfilling career and the American Dream simply because I got some degree on my resume was hands down the dumbest piece of shit that I ever believed. Oh my gosh, I was starting to think how could I be that stupid to believe everything that I was told when I was younger? I saw an downright ugly side of higher education when illness struck my life not once but twice in school. I’m seeing downright cruelty right now as I write this article.
The first time I was sick in college, I received an inside glimpse of how people were. In the shorter version of this story, even with doctor’s notes, professors thought I was lying. After reading many blog posts on professor’s receiving these types of emails from students, I concluded that they just don’t give a damn about your health, but you have to care about your health. Even with the Dean Of Students, quite a few of them surprisingly didn’t want to accommodate. As I learned, professors are paid regardless if you show up to class or not. As a student, I’m paying for the experience of a higher education. They don’t give a shit if I don’t show up or not. This isn’t high school, no one is going to ask where you are.
I remember making the effort to reach out to professors just for them to ignore me. I showed up to office hours just for them to not be there. Guess what? The responsibility fell on my shoulders, and if couldn’t skip enough doctor’s appointments and catch them, it was on me to deal with the results. The only reason why I was able to get a professor to respond? I had to go all the way to the top, above dean of students and department heads just to get my a professor to respond to me once. I realized as a student being one of many, I simply did not have a lot of pull.
Fast forward to 2016.
I decided to make my health a priority and no longer care about college or student loans.
I snapped. How you like me now?
I am having a sassy-something attitude when it comes to student loan debt. I don’t owe $100,000. I don’t even owe you $20,000, and yet you find the need to bug me? I was on my way to taking care of you this year in 2016, but my health tanked once again. That’s life. There’s a lot of people out there in worst debt than I am. I’ve seen way too many horror stories on cancer patients and people with tumors getting sued by student debt collectors even though they had medical reasons for not working. You thinking about doing the same thing to me hot shots? I watched too many friends pass away to suicide stressing over college, and I am not going to be one of those people. The people pleasing stops. When I was in my hospital bed, I was thinking this “I am in the hospital, feeling stabbing pains. I don’t feel that great, and you guys are harassing me about paying you?”
1. From a medical standpoint I have been told to take a chill pill. It is not worth causing permanent injury trying to satisfy you. Surgery is coming here soon. In other words. I will not make a permanent decision for a temporary emotion or situation. No longer will I secretly break my neck for you. I’m 100% sure you will not be there to push my wheelchair for me. My doctor even confessed and asked me how are you moving being in pain all the time? I don’t know either, my lady.
2. There’s no wages for you to take. After surgery, I will not be working for months. You have no choice but to wait. I tried telling you this, but your logic won’t listen.
3. This whole situation is educating me on how people are when it comes to money and health. Unless it’s happening to them, they don’t care.
4. I decided to stop thinking about debt collecting trolls. When I stopped trying to change things I can’t control, positive things started to happen to me despite being in pain. There’s something to be said about not stressing out about it. By keeping my mind stress-free, it only helps me come up with a creative solution and not add to the problem.
I simply made a decision to not give a damn about it anymore. Meaning that my health is a priority from this point forward. I’ve disappeared from friends not because I don’t love them, but there are times when I’m in pain and I don’t feel like moving. When they are happy, who am I to ruin their fun with bad news? I’m up for another hospital stay here soon. Believe it or not, I’ve had a lot of great things happen to me in ‘16 that could allow me to knock out the payments quickly after my health is back to 100%. I ultimately choose to post happy things on social media. There is enough negativity in the world. C’mon now, I’m not going to post a LinkedIn update or job position explaining the grim details just to get people worried and to feel sorry for me. I’m just not that kind of person. If I want them to know, I’ll tell them personally. Because I choose not to post all the painful-testing-pin sticking doctor appointments to prove how much pain I’m in on social media, I guess that gives you the license to bully and threaten saying if you don’t pay this, you will do this?
I will even deal with all the Debbie Downers, the Internet Trolls that will have something cruel and mean to say about me (by the way, I also don’t give a damn). I have been called the most racist and most demeaning things in college. That toughened my skin. So bring it bitches.
I’m not going to start the woe-is-me talk. The best thing I can do is to prepare myself for surgery mentally and emotionally. It’s not going to do me or you any good by trying to work in this state. I’m not going to try hard to find ways to work for you when you didn’t even try to work things out with me. I reached out many times as a student, and I was ignored. Why stress over what I cannot change?
I made my bed, and I’m lying in it. Literally, Tuna hurts. Who in the fuck is Tuna you ask? Tennessee Tuna is someone you will get to know much later.
Follow Alesha Peterson on Twitter: https://twitter.com/aleshapeterson