Dear Barb – Debt and Defending

Dear Barb:

I am in my early twenties, have just completed my second year of university, and I still have three years left before I reach my goal. My marks are pretty good, but I’m feeling overwhelmed by my student debt. I already have $10,000 in school loans. If I keep going the way I am I will end up with over $25,000 in student loans by the time I finish. I will be starting out my life with a huge debt, how will I ever be able to buy a house or even a new car? I work part time through the school year, plus I have a full time summer job, what else can I do! The stress is starting to wear on me. I’m having a hard time sleeping and feel anxious a lot of the time. Even before writing my exams I am beginning to feel anxious and it’s hard to concentrate. I am almost thinking of going to see my doctor for this anxiety. Do you have any other suggestions that might help me to cope with this situation? Thanks, Robin.

Hi Robin:

You are among the majority, as most students’ graduate with a sizeable student debt, the average being $25,000 or more. Carrying a large debt of any kind adds stress to a person’s life and is not conducive to good health. Visiting your family doctor is a step in the right direction, although medication is only a short term fix. You need to learn to handle the stress because it is not going away any time soon. Enrolling in a yoga or meditation class may help you to manage your anxiety level and bring peace to your everyday life. Also check out the mental health resources available in the college or university that you are attending. Good Luck Robin and remember you are investing in your future.

Dear Barb:

My best friend and I have been friends for 5 years. We get along great and she is a lot of fun. The only time we have any issues is when my boyfriend and I have a difference of opinion. She will always take his side and defend him, making me look bad. I have mentioned this to her and she says “Oh, I was only kidding,” but my boyfriend uses it against me, saying “see, Karen agrees with me.” It’s getting to the point where I don’t want to bring him around her. Do you have any ideas why she might do something like that? Looking forward to your reply, Shelly.

Hi Shelly:

I’m not sure why some people do things like that. Maybe she feels since you and her are friends, if she takes your boyfriend’s side it will bring them closer together. I guess it doesn’t really matter why, but you just want it to stop. You said you have already discussed this with your friend and she says she is just kidding, maybe you should tell her how your boyfriend uses this to his advantage and that you would prefer that she not take any sides in these issues, but rather just stay neutral. Hopefully that will resolve this for you. Thanks Shelly.

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Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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