I just stumbled across a Huffington Post article about a Northeastern student who took out $200,000 in loans and has since created a site dedicated to collecting online donations to pay off the debt. Her name is Kelli Space and her payments are about $800+ per month.
I can’t decided how I feel about it, especially having read the many criticisms of her mission. Quotes like this, from an article called “Kelly Space, You’re an Idiot,” make me a bit uncomfortable: “Who goes that far into debt for a sociology degree and then decides to panhandle on the Internet because they made a poor life choice?”
I sympathize with Kelli’s (potentially) ill-advised decision to plunge into debt for school, but I understand why the decision was made. It’s unfair for someone (in this case a blogger) to oversimplify the allure of college to a hard-working high school kid, and then brand that person an “idiot” while they try to think of ways to navigate the repercussions. That said, I understand why she’s being criticized. Plenty of kids are in debt, so why drop your dollars into her hand?
But on the flip side, why drop your dollars (or nickels or pennies) into my guitar case? Perhaps because I’m playing, ahem, a guitar. And the focus is mostly on the music, not so much the tallying up of dollars.
I’m fine with what Kelli’s doing. She’s not making anybody give anything, and she’s an illustration of a larger, very messed up, situation. There’s value in that.
Let’s leave on this note: I just Googled “Justin Cox, You’re an Idiot,” and I ended up with this story about Justin Bieber wanting to go to college when he gets older.