WARNING incoming rant
I left college in 2000, studying Computer science. I was told "take as many loans as you want, it doesnt matter you'll be making 75k-100k a year easy starting out.
I busted ass, worked my way through college at various local but still high tech companies. My raw talent started to show, and my Junior year I was offered a job at NASA IV&V. At the time I was blown away. How the f#$% could some kid from coal country, land a job at NASA. I had a nice security clearance, meet some truly amazing people. Had access to every place within the facility, nice workout area, beautiful library and access to information I still drool over. But after unfortunately I did my job to well. It was for a finite project, and the software I wrote was efficient, met the needs of the contract, the researched may stil be using it for software metric research on code I will never touch. But in the end I wasn't really let go as much as.. no longer needed. Then the spring semester, I was on a team that broke the barrier and placed on the WORLD level of the ACM programming championship. We were the cream of the crop. IBM personally, as "our American team" flew us out to Hollywood and setup us up 100% paid at the Beverly Hills Hilton for a week to represent the US. Truly a highlight in my life. We didn't place in the top, but for the Java challenge our team placed 5th in the world. When we weren't in meetings, or co-mingling with top people with fortune 500 companies around the world, my best friend in the world and I took a limo to Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Truly beautiful.. I had hit the big time, with my hard work and raw mental state, and perhaps God to thank for it.
Fast forward next semester, I was working at freaking Taco Bell making minimum wage 30hrs a week and their official closer, and a college lab as a "grunt" making sure people checked in at the door.
Ended up not being able to afford tuition, and having to drop out of college. Then with a lot of cheap students in the area, even fast food jobs became hard to get.
I spent 2-3 years in a deep f*cking depression. Then finding work at a local theater working selling popcorn. I just freaking gave up. At this point I was out of school and with no degree, they were calling asking for their $$.
Fast forward another 6-7 years of ultimate low life depression barely making it up. With "no degree" even with my superb contacts and "abilities" I was blackmarked because of "no degree".
Wasn't till my dad invited me to Ohio, I found a job within 24 hours.
Granted I'm still not at my NASA level of feeling good about myself, I finally found a real job making 36k, and after the SysAdmin quit for a job in Silicon Valley I applied and got it making $22/hr.
That company ultimately folded, and luckily I saw it coming and jumped ship literally 2 weeks before all my friends were fired. Now I make ~$42k a year. I consider that doing ok, but here is the rub.
It took me about 10 years to "make it". I'm currently going through bankruptcy, and due to the ass hats that are my student loan providers (found out literally yesterday, and lying by my lawyer) that filing bankruptcy, is considered contractually force into default. So now at a financial low, I'm being told I need to pay $74k in a 1 lump payment, but oooh.. they'll work with me. I can always ask my family for 74k to pay it off, or get a private loan to pay it off. WTF I have NO family to rely on, and they know the only reason I'm in this place is due to a bankruptcy, so how the hell am I going to cough up 74k?!?. Yeah I have it in my other bank account.
I'm purely for the OWS movement. I did every damn step I can think of, postponed bankruptcy and eating shit for 10 years when many people told me to do it sooner. But it wasn't till I couldn't afford food after my $1100 a month Student loan payments, and had to do it just so I could free up income to make those payments for the next 12 years.
I'm Freaking MAD, upset, angered, and no matter what I do to make things ultimately right, I'm MAD at the system, how it ruined me.
I feel for you, 2 years are rough. But I've been there.
Sorry... ug.. I will prob regret posting this but at this point I just don't care. So take it with a grain of salt.