As of today, I no longer have a student loan.
I know, it’s shocking that someone of my advanced age could still owe money for an education earned in the last century. My debt wasn’t even that big –I only incurred it during my post-graduate years in Toronto, and it was much smaller than the loans some of my friends took out.
I suppose I could have paid it off sooner, but I decided to do other things with my money, like buy a marimba and bet on the ponies. The truth is, some part of me liked having an outstanding student loan. As I accumulated the trappings of a middle-class lifestyle – a mortgage, pension, children, an expanding waistline – the loan was one of the last connections I had to the younger me. It was a way for me to empathize with today’s youth – “hey bro, I feel your pain, as I, too, have mortgaged my future in pursuit of personal growth and enlightenment.”
Without that student loan, I worry about losing touch with youth culture and slipping further into middle age. What if I start buying pants with the expandable comfort waist? Who will save me if I begin to enjoy Celine Dion albums?
Thankfully, I still have a mortgage to keep me grounded. I won’t have to worry about being truly old until May 1, 2027, which is the day our current mortgage will be retired. There’s nothing like crushing debt to keep you feeling young.