Thursday, April 22, 2010

Or, as we called it in the newsroom, "Sucky University"

I became interested in mommy blogs because of my job. It was important for me to read these blogs in to order understand how to pitch them, why to pitch them and more importantly, which ones not to pitch. I keep reading them, though (okay, FINE, I am completely addicted to half a dozen of them), because I want to know more about these women's experiences in toddler-raising. I'm fascinated by motherhood; I'm in awe of motherhood. I want to BE a mother. And that's not to discount that many of these blogs are exceptionally well-written.

One of the blogs, or more accurately vlogs, that I follow is Momversation. Some of my coworkers make fun of me. Well, its on the list of things that they mock me for. I think it's interesting, so there. The topics really don't hold any relevance to my daily life, but neither do a lot of things I read.

The topic today is saving for your kids' college years, and it reminded me of one of the reasons that I'm in so much debt -- my parents didn't pay my college. And boy, has that effed me over.

I was allowed to choose where I went to school, and for that I am grateful. Money didn't really factor into my decision because I was 18 and pretty clueless about what real debt actually meant for my life. My parents always urged me to go to college, but I think they only really did that because I showed such an interest in going very early on. When I was about 9 or 10 I asked my dad for a UCLA sweatshirt from the local reasonably trendy store in the mall. He conceded and I wore it until I wore it out. It was gray and the UCLA was printed in blue-purple-pink plaid fabric letters. Very cool when I was 10.

I started seriously looking for colleges when I was in ninth grade. I like to be ahead of the game. At that point, though, I was planning on going to St. Louis. As if I might fit in in the middle of the country!

I went to Syracuse for three reasons: 1. The campus was pretty (and, along with that I had NO idea how cold it would get). 2. They had/have a great journalism program, and I was going to be Katie Couric (see my yearbook). 3. Boston University rejected me. Rude.

Had I gone to the most economical school to which I was accepted, I would have gone to Drexel. I mulled over University of Hartford, too. But see above.

My dad and I had an agreement that I would be paying for school through scholarships, loans and grants. But, really, I didn't know what that meant. It wasn't until I graduated and started seeing the student loan bills that I really came to terms with the fact that I went to a school that cost a small fortune. Oops.

I wouldn't trade my education at Syracuse for anything. I wouldn't trade my social experiences there either. I fell in love, out of love, made best friends and "swam" in bathtubs after too much alcohol. It was pretty great. I had my problem with it, sure, and complained endlessly about the snow and the cold for four years, yes.

But now that graduation is many years behind me and I am literally paying for choices I made when I was just barely a legal adult, I see why there are commercials on TV that ask parents if their IRA or whatever is prepared to pay for their child's college. Because I'm probably a solid five years away from giving birth and I should have started putting away college money yesterday. I don't really know why my parents didn't, but they didn't. And hey, that's cool. I needed food growing up more than the expectation that I would go on to study at a private university. But I'll always be a little bit (or, you know, a lot) jealous of my peers who had their educations paid for and still went to a good school like I did. But life is unfair that way. I had the food, the education, and now I'm broke. Super.

No comments: