Is There Anyone on Earth With As Much Debt As Me?

Thanks to my grandparents, I finished undergrad with zero debt. But then I went to grad school and got two degrees. One is a law degree (quite useful), the other is basically a conversation piece. (My boss: “Did you actually earn that degree, or did you buy the diploma on eBay?”) For these, I have just over $239,000 in student loan debt, down from the approximately $253,000 I started with.

I have a lot of feelings about my debt. Mostly I am ashamed that I complain about it. Because as huge as it is, my personal privilege is correspondingly huge. I didn’t waste my money. I bought myself a present and now I am paying for it by leveraging the present—I have a job! And my job is REALLY GOOD. My job makes even my ludicrous debt totally manageable with money to spare to live comfortably. So I am ashamed that I feel the burden at all when compared to what so most people face, I live in the penthouse at Number One Easy Street. And yet I still bitch and moan.