Sarah

I’m originally from Connecticut and I moved here for college; I got two degrees from Pace University in English and publishing, Bachelor and Masters, and I work in publishing now. I have two jobs: I work in publishing and I tutor children. I am married and have two roommates.

I’m very, very aware of how limited my life is because of student loan payments and it’s a constant worry that something is going to happen, that I’ll go to the hospital or, God forbid, get pregnant and have a month in which I just can’t make that payment, and that’s been my life for four years.

I picked [Pace University] because I liked the programs that they had and I thought that they were the best programs for me, and they were. Also, when I went, they had a four-year tuition promise where the tuition you came in with would stay at that level for four years; that, they did away with my junior or senior year. It still applied to me, I was grandfathered in, but it was really unfortunate that they got rid of it. It was amazing. It was, outside of the debt I went into for it, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

I got married, which is awesome, but I’m very, very aware of how limited my life is because of student loan payments and it’s a constant worry that something is going to happen, that I’ll go to the hospital or, God forbid, get pregnant and have a month in which I just can’t make that payment, and that’s been my life for four years. I live in Inwood.

Well, I work about four blocks down [from Zuccotti], so it was kind of hard to miss. I heard about this thing going on in the news, and I was like “I should go down there and check it out” and I went and was like “this is awesome, I’m going to get involved.” Everything seems to really be going wrong in the country and I wanted to be part of the movement that was trying to fix it. And I wanted to say, “at least I tried.” It feels like I’m actually doing something and not just sitting at home worrying and applying to even more jobs, and hoping it gets better, and waiting for someone to make it better. At least, I’m actually doing something.

I went to an open forum with Andrew Ross about student loans and they started a working group, a subcommittee of the education and empowerment group, that was specifically for the student loan problem and I was like “that’s my biggest problem, I’m signing up for that.”

It feels like I’m actually doing something and not just sitting at home worrying and applying to even more jobs, and hoping it gets better, and waiting for someone to make it better. At least, I’m actually doing something.

[Student debt] ties in because I think a lot of the problems going on in this country stem from financial things; if we don’t have any money to pay our bills, to put into the economy, then the economy is not going to get better. A lot of the reasons we don’t have money to pay for things are because we are paying off student loans and there is no way to discharge them through any legal means.

We started a pledge of refusal today, a campaign to bring solidarity to people with debt, with student loan debt. So hopefully, that will change something. I think it will hopefully help me but it’s probably more on a grand scale, hopefully help everyone else as well. I think Occupy Wall Street is giving a voice to a lot of people that didn’t have it before. And it’s giving a voice to a lot of people that get ignored. And we need that!

I would like student loans to be forgiven, and I would like free public education at the college level, and interest free student loans, and for colleges to open their books and let us see where our money is going, and I would like job creation, and I would like a reinstitution of the Glass-Steagall bill. All that stuff will hopefully come out of it, and more.

For me? If we forgave student loans, I could have a life. I could have a real adult life, and that would be amazing!

My name is Sarah.

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