As a student I was a pathological penny pincher, but as much as I’ve complained about student loans, I’m also grateful for them. Sure, it would be great if Canada could adopt an approach like Finland and other European countries where education is free, but that’s not in our cards.
Why are student loans good?
I grew up in a small village in Northern Ontario, in a huge family – in total there are 11 of us. YES! I have 8 siblings and we all have the same parents. :) Most Canadians are familiar with the rural community setting (maybe not the huge family scene). A railway runs through town, the town has 2 gas stations, a single postal code is associated to the entire area (including all the outlying hamlets, and farms), the local high school is 30 minutes from home, the high school kids are bussed from a 100km radius (and there’s still only about 700 students in total). Most of your childhood is spent: crawling across beaver dams, building tree forts, playing Lego, banging away at BASIC on rainy days, swinging from ropes in barns, chasing sheep, skateboarding, and shooting guns. Most of the residents in these towns live modest lives, and have chosen the rural community because it’s cheaper than living in the neighbouring city, or they have just always lived there. The residents are employed in the dwindling lumber industry, the agricultural industry, the local businesses, they are seasonal workers, or unemployed.
In short, living in these remote communities can be economically challenging, supporting a massive family in these areas can be difficult, and receiving educational assistance from your family is even more difficult. So… If it wasn’t for government funded student loans I probably wouldn’t have gone to College/University, and if it wasn’t for an education I probably wouldn’t have been able to develop the skills necessary to be where I am today – yesterday I paid the last of my Student Loans. :)
Thank-you Government of Canada for the student loans!
For all the students out there, keep your chin up, keep your eyes on the goal, don’t let finances get you down, focus on your studies, and keep pushing forward. Education is a sound investment in your future – provided you’re not going to school for underwater basket weaving, or attending an atrociously expensive private college, and not going to school forever (everything in moderation, right?). As the old adage goes: “you’ve got to spend money to make money”, and education is a sound investment.