Brian Yu

Reasons Why I Hate Student Loans - Poem by Brian Yu

Reasons why I hate Student loans:

8 - Because they suck

7 - As a kid I never liked owing people money. Never liked the feeling that somebody could use the fact that I owed them as something to hold over my head and follow me every step I took.

If you take all the money that every student in UC Berkeley owes it would stand higher than the eight story clock tower that they built as a testament to what students can achieve. Let there be light, yes but not without the shadow of debt.

6 - When it came time to pay for college it took my mother and her extended relatives everything they had just to make the down payment. It felt wrong to be taking from people who had sacrificed so much already.

5 - I check my bank account the same way some people check their GPA. Reminding myself constantly that the Bank of America is not an institution that rounds up.

4 - I once saw a sign at another university that said by cutting Starbucks out of your daily diet you can save more than two thousand dollars a year but because I'm an overachiever I not only cut out coffee but tea, clothes, shoes, all the hairs on my head that weren't grey. Sold off my mental health as a down payment for a future I'm wondering if I can still afford.

3 - What they don't advertise on the glossy college brochures is that losing weight because you skiped lunch for the 4th time that week comes free with the tuition. I'm not a good cook by any means but on days when I've run out of pepper, hunger is the best seasoning I know. I've tasted instant noodles so many times I can tell you what flavor it is by the sound of powder hitting water.

2- My parents sacrificed everything to come to this country to give me a better life. Gave up a chance at stability to start all over at the bottom just so my brothers and I could have a chance to reach the top. How can I complain about 18 hour workdays when my mother finishes a day at the office, comes homes, and has cooked for the family for the last 22 years? Do you know how much strength it takes to stand in the kitchen and raise a family when you barely have enough to lift your own head?

1 - When I call my mother at the end of the week she asked me how I'm doing. I tell her I'm doing fine but she can hear the tiredness in my voice and she says she's sorry she's not able to do more for me.

0 - They told me college would be expensive I just didn't expect to pay an arm and a leg to be a part of this student body.
0 - Didn't expect to type so long I developed tendonitis.
0 - of staying up so late things begin to blur together.
0 - of missing office hours because of work
0 - of missing work to study because I missed office hours
0 - of missing the test because I overslept because I spent all night working
0 - of starting all over again
0 - of giving and giving and giving and having it not be enough

-1 - They said by going to college I would be working towards my dreams but now when I go to sleep at night I don't dream anymore.

Topic(s) of this poem: college, debt, student

Form: Free Verse

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 25, 2018

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