As the cold hard cash slid across the counter, that spirit crushing weight finally slipped off my back. I was making my final student loan payment and boy-howdy it felt good. So good that I temporarily blocked out the fact that the career I had gone to school for had ended over a year ago due to re-structuring. Not to mention I was still paying off pizza, beer and books graciously paid for by Aunt Visa.
But that was a simpler time. The tuition freeze was still in effect and it was generally accepted that people wanting to get ahead had three choices. You had to know someone, be rich, or get an education. Education used to be the only gleam of hope for middle to low income families. Go to school and one day you might make enough to afford some luxuries like rent or three meals a day. It's that reason I believe that school should be free.
Now however, that faint glimmer of hope is gone forever. In 2001, Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals campaigned on a promise to keep tuition fees frozen and increase the quality of education at BC colleges and universities. As any parent or student is well aware, Campbell instead spat on students by increasing tuition fees by 70 percent for undergraduate programs, and by as much as 150 percent at BC colleges and university- rcent! And it's not over yet, there is still talk of another 35 percent increase at SFU next fall.
Of course this had the obvious effect. Now, middle and lower class students are leaving school by droves simply because they can't afford it.
Federally Paul Martian announced that there is good news for students as they can now have bigger student loans. What? How is a bigger debt for the same paper going to help anyone but the banks?
Bottom line: if your rich, you're in. Those without pockets yet still possessed with the fire to better yourself with education; more power to you. Unfortunately, this leaves you seeking alternative fundraising avenues. And baring a full on scholarship, you're once again forced to rely on sex, drugs, and rock and roll. First step: become a rock star. If that works, great! If not, remember your math teacher droning on and on with you thinking you'll never use this information in real life? Well that was before you realized you might have to sell drugs to go to university. Now your knowledge of grams, ounces and pounds will really help you get ahead.
For those more comfortable with biology, you're in luck as the oldest profession is also hiring. Don't fret fella's, selling your body for cash isn't just for the ladies. Now you too can afford to pay your tuition one lonely sailor at a time. If you're uncomfortable, just close your eyes, lean back, thank Gordon Campbell, and pray that it will all be over soon.