When I first graduated and saw the balance.
When I participated in medical experiments to help pay my bills.
When I helped sell fake designer sunglasses and perfume bottles filled with water.
When I wasn’t getting along with certain family members anyway.
When I thought I could just live by the sea in Latin America for the rest of my days.
Yeah, like the Shawshank dude.
When I sold electronics, coins, and jewelry to pawn shops in Harlem (and random dudes on the Internet) so I could buy food.
When I would go to various supermarkets that had free samples and kept visiting the cheese and bread sections until I could make a sandwich.
When I signed up for workshops and events at tech offices to take advantage of the free lunch.
When I slept in my office and showered at the gym because I didn’t have an apartment.
When the loan company called me and threatened my future if I didn’t pay them and I laughed and hung up.
When the woman on the line said, “You need to pay $600 to be current” and I said “I don’t have that” and she said “I know.”
Every time I see a “millennials are killing X industry” garbage article.
Every time there’s a Purge movie and everyone murders everyone instead of erasing student debt.
Every time I tell a misinformed soul that they can’t declare bankruptcy to get rid of student loan debt and I see their terrified eyes scrolling through their phones to read the terms of their agreement for the first time.
When politicians make promises about student loans and I don’t want to go through the emotional roller coaster of getting my hopes up.
When I realize I can’t sign up for a delivery service app job because I’m afraid of driving and don’t have a car.
Because Homer Simpson did it once and made it look pretty easy.
(But I feel like technology is too good and I wouldn’t get away with it.)
But Peggy Hill did it once and things worked out for her in that episode, too.
And why would cartoons lie?
Every time someone tells me I must be “smart” because I went to NYU, and the only thing I can think to say is “not smart enough to get a full ride.”
Every time NYU emails me asking me for donations.
Actually, that also makes me snort through my nose.