24 February 2013

When things get stressful, Art!

(c) iStock photo.
The other day was kind of crazy. I received a notice from Direct Loans servicing updating me on what my total debt will be once I graduate from Seton Hill, and the monthly payment plan I'll be on once my forbearance period ends in December.

Part of my soul died when I saw it.

I already borrowed money for undergrad, even though I received a sizable chunk of financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants. But I still left Capital with a lot of debt. I've had to go into forbearance repeatedly when I've not been employed or not made enough money to make consistent monthly payments. So my interest continued to accrue when I was in these forgiveness periods.

When I started grad school, even with the scholar's discount I still had to borrow money to attend. And because I was unemployed, I borrowed the max per semester so I could afford to pay my bills (like cell phone and credit card) plus other expenses. And I still have to piggyback on family to make it.

So I probably shouldn't have been so surprised my number would be high... I knew I would end up borrowing what most medical students borrow for school when I added undergrad and grad school costs together.

My total debt was $58,000 higher than what I estimated. And I'll be paying it until 2043, barring any more forbearance or life difficulties that could knock things off schedule.
Life after grad school? 
 (cc)  Maggiebug21

I had an anxiety attack when I saw it. The first couple years of monthly payments listed were reasonable--I've paid debts higher than that before and have been able to live. But...I was making $13-$14 an hour at the time. I've been out of work since 2010 and I doubt I'll find a place that will hire me with that pay to start with. Or even if I'll find a job at all.

Part of the reason why I picked Seton Hill above other programs to which I was accepted (like Goddard College) was because there was an emphasis on teaching with our degree requirements. We were being trained to get the qualifications needed to (hopefully) find work at least as a lecturer or adjunct faculty. My goal was to leave school and find a job teaching. That was supposed to be the career that took me out of my misery of working in call centers and customer service desks and the typical soul-draining stuff that wears you down.

I'm pretty scared for my future right now. And I'm already stressed out with school beyond belief.

So I did what I haven't done for quite a few weeks (because of no time). I made art. I wanted to stop thinking about things that bothered me and escape to a pleasant nonreality of sorts. And I wanted to make something that I would enjoy for once instead of honoring the requests/commissions of other people (which has been the majority of my art on dA).

Link to the third power! Image (c) KEB
I went ahead and drew Link from the Legend of Zelda (from the Skyward Sword manga at the back of Hyrule Historia).  He's always been a favorite character of mine for ages, and the first video game character I wanted to be real so I could date him. :)

I felt like putting something heroic out there in the universe to combat my current feelings of being overwhelmed and helpless. So who is more heroic than the Hero of Time?

I didn't expect this to come out as good as it did. But I made him to make myself feel better, and I do, and I am extremely proud of him. Here's the finished product. Enjoy!

Image (cc) KEB.


  1. I'm right there with you. I will owe a LOT of money (because I still owe $19k for undergrad, too, and I graduated 15 years ago!). It's scary to live with so much uncertainty about how or whether you'll be able to pay it off, and that our government just doesn't give a rip about higher education for its citizens. Apparently it's ok to trap tens of thousands of people into debt slavery. Ugh. Well, at least you're not alone. :)

  2. Hooray, slaves to debt forever...but together! Thanks, friend. :) Not that I'm glad you share my anxiety, but that you can understand.


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