2015, when I graduated law school, was a simpler time. Ariana Grande had not yet licked a donut (let alone Pete Davidson), and big law starting salaries were still the (totally insane) $160,000. I was fortunate to have lined up one of those big law jobs, and I knew that all I had to do was make it through the bar exam, move into a nice new apartment in one of America’s more expensive cities, and start measuring my life in six minute increments. I was ready. to. go.
But here’s the thing about studying for the bar exam: it sucks. You, my dear reader, know this, because you are either a lawyer (and know it firsthand), a law student (and have heard horror stories), or a genius (and noped the fuck out of studying for the bar by not even going to law school).
So law grads do things to make it a little better–move to the beach, voluntarily watch daytime television, take a shot every time the Barbri lecturer makes a pun, etc. I kept it simple and discovered the joys of the little coffee shop a few blocks from my parents house. My parents live in a suburb, and the coffee shop featured a wide variety of suburb staples: a very gossipy group of octogenarians, a teenage Bible study group, a mom’s group, like fourteen 19-year-old men trying to teach themselves coding but actually just surfing Reddit, and way too many people who believe bike shorts and sweat are appropriate attire for a coffee shop. And me, nursing a large latte in the corner and trying to not fall that far behind my Barbri counter.
It was there one day where I, desperately seeking an escape from the vagaries of impleader and interpleader, decided to finally total up my student loan debt.
I owed $271,706.74.
With a newly rising wave of panic, I closed out my Barbri tab (not something that required much convincing), and started doing calculations of how much and how long it would cost me to pay this off.
Every month, I had to pay $1,447 in interest before I could even make a dent in the debt. I hastily threw together the first of many charts summarizing my debt load: Continue reading “$271,706.74 in Student Loans: Oops”