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2017-03-16 Steve Gardiner College Memories: Student Loans and Good Friends

College is an important time for young adults, and I want to share two articles I published recently related to the college experience. The first deals with financing college, a critical concern for any student, and the second recounts an important college event that influenced me for the remainder of my life.  

For many years, I have heard students talk about college debt. They complain about the burden it becomes and how it haunts them for many years after they graduate. It bothers me, because I can remember being in college, working for three months during the summer, and earning enough money to pay for nine months of school. That was many years ago. Those numbers don't work out for students today.

It is sad that students must take on debt, but there is another cost behind the increasing prices and deep debt. Read this article, published on the PBS NewsHour website to see what I think is the true cost of large student loans.


Saddling Students with Debt


The second article is based on an unusual friendship in college. I participated in a study abroad program my junior year and spent a semester at the University of London. Part of that experience involved a week living with an English family. My family turned out to be Charles Lee, a 72-year-old man who lived alone in a cottage in the Lake District. One of the first days I spent with him, he gave me a notebook and told me to write down all the things I did during my time in England, warning me that if I did not write them, I would forget them.


Charles was right. I filled the notebook he gave me and a few others. I liked the journal writing and continued it for 40 years. Last year, I opened the boxes where the journals were stored, and reread every one of them. It was an interesting glimpse into my own life, a chance to relive many things that I barely remembered or had completely forgotten. It was a treat to live those experiences again. As I read, I recalled writing the entries and thinking about my audience, the future version of myself that would one day sit down and read the journals. It was then that I made an interesting realization.


That article was published recently by the Christian Science Monitor. Read it here.


A Gift to My Future Self


Student loans and interesting friendships are both results fo the college experience.  These articles take a look at these topics and what they mean to us.



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