Dave and I have been living together in our cozy, one-bedroom apartment for about four months now. We’ve managed to make the place our own, drizzling personal touches into every room with our post-college, Target-bought taste. Aries, the dog, seems to tie the place together entirely. I definitely think we had been missing the much needed toys lying haphazardly about the apartment for a while. With good jobs and good paychecks, we have managed to get buy and not suffer while we have been here.
Then one day, Dave received a graduate assistantship for his Master of Business Administration, and suddenly, I am the only person with the real, benefit producing paycheck. Now I am cutting back to thirty hours a week to better cater to law school. Life in the valley does not seem to produce as many rainbows as it once did. The stench of the sewage plant down the street infiltrates all those perfect dreams more than we would both like to admit.
The situation has changed, and now we are looking into moving back in with Dave’s parents by the start of February. We will still have to pay back about five months worth of rent, but once that is over, we can live for free under another roof, dog included. I worry that I will go crazy with his mother, but their generosity is hard to pass when the cost of an education only continues to increase.
This seems to highlight a key theme that follows college. Life in your twenties sucks. There is a reason there are no great adages about being twenty-something. This decade, partially fulfilled by college, comes crashing into a reality that reminds you your newly earned degree is nothing more than a glorified high school diploma and you are now, once again, at the bottom of every ladder. Your parents, in most cases, have stepped out of the financial picture and you have bills, loans, insurance, rent, car payments, and life in general to pay back – let alone pay for. Graduate school is the new college degree, and in a few decades, that will most likely turn into the doctorate.
While the situation Dave and I find ourselves in currently is not the perfect one, I have a feeling the decision will be for the best. Dave will have no student loans from any point in his educational career…and I will have saved a little from adding on to mine. I just hope we can salvage our sanity over the next two years.