Forget About Student Loans; What About Parents?
I'm not the typical college student: when I graduate next May, I will have zero debt. I grew up in New York City, went through the usual "gifted" and "honors" programs that most of our readers are familiar with, and was fortunate enough to obtain a full scholarship for undergrad. When I apply to graduate school, I'll be taking on student loans for the first time. Despite this, my main concern isn't how I'll deal with the massive six-figure debt; rather, it's how I'll repay my parents back.
It could be the close relationship that we have, or it could be me personally witnessing the hardships my parents had to undergo to provide for my sister and I. In actuality, the desire can probably be attributed traditional Asian guilt. Regardless, ever since I understood the concept of money, I've always thought that-- aside from-- a big part of why I want to be rich is to ensure my parents live a grand and happy life. On me.
After working absurd hours in menial jobs in my benefit for over two decades, they deserve it. It also seems that I'm not the only one with this mindset. This article talks about one's experience in having supportive parents, and the difficulties of finding ways to pay them back in the early years when money is scarce:
This entire time, my dad was quietly putting money in my checking account without even mentioning it while my mom cooked my favorite foods and took me shoe shopping. A few more unpaid gigs and anti-anxiety medications later, the feeling of being a freeloader was becoming overwhelming. I signed up with a temp agency, a job flexible enough that I could still pursue writing and theater, and made plans to use my savings to move in with friends at the end of the summer. I know that to have parents so supportive makes me a lucky bastard, but I'm worried that it also makes me a spoiled brat.
My parents have been similarly great: working extra hours for my SAT prep classes, foregoing vacations so I could study abroad, and limiting themselves career-wise so that they could be home before 5 and look after their kids. For this, the first priority after paying back loans and ensuring that I can somewhat survive in the city will be to take care of my parent's mortgage. And send them on a nice vacation. And whatever else their hearts desire.
I'm sure many of you have felt the same level of gratitude for your parents' efforts as well. What do you guys plan to do, or have done, when the real money starts rolling in?