I'm not looking for a bailout, nor do I expect one to come for student loans.
However, I can understand how people can be surprised by the far-reaching effects of debt. I'm one of them.
I *totally* get that it's my money to pay back. I have every intention of doing so. It's just that it sometimes feels harsh to have people sit and say, "well, you fool! How could you not have known?"
Well, there are lots of ways that you could not have known. For me, my parents were not.good.with.money.at.all. It was normal and expected that everyone was in some level of debt. My dad's own student loans were repaid by garnishment. Hello!!! Not good with money.
As an adult, I can see how debt limits your choices, and I have made steps to break that debt cycle (my people were sharecroppers; the cycle goes way back). However, that's something that I honestly didn't know at 18 (or 22). It took me being an adult, paying my own way, to get that lesson.
My dh is the first in his family to graduate from college. His parents didn't put much emphasis on not going into debt, because they had never been in debt themselves. They (and he) assumed that he would pay his loans off quickly. Life got in the way, and that didn't happen.
Once again...not looking for a handout. Just the understanding that just because you get into trouble with student loans doesn't mean that you are stupid. Naive, yes. Uninformed, yes. Woefully ignorant, absolutely. Will you end up in your 30s wishing that you could redo your 20s? Probably. But not stupid.