“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible,” said Stanisław Jerzy Lec. Whether that is true in nature, it’s certainly seems to be true for many of the precious little snowflakes who find themselves, after making poor educational decisions, buried under an avalanche of student loan debt. Consider, for instance, this op-ed by Tad Hopp, a student in “his last semester in the MDiv program at San Francisco Theological Seminary.”
Before we delve into what will be one of the worst opinion pieces of the year, let me offer a word of caution. Reading Mr. Hopp’s op-ed may affect you, as it did me, by filling you with despair. Can America survive when millions of people have such a self-centered sense of entitlement? I’m not sure. And if you’re prone to declinist thinking, you’ll want to skip the rest of this post. Here’s a compilation of kitten videos to watch instead.
Let’s start by reviewing the circumstances Mr. Hopp finds himself in:
1. Goes to an expensive private college and majors in a subject that is in low demand on the job market (English).
2. Graduates with $50,000 in debt and is unable to find a job.
3. Goes to another expensive private college and majors in a subject that is in low demand on the job market (Master of Divinity).
4. Nears graduation with an additional $50,000 in debt and no prospect for finding a job.
As Mr. Hopp says,
Perhaps you can see my dilemma here. Here I am, about to graduate from a very prestigious master’s degree program, saddled with student loan debt and the constant worry that I won’t be able to find a job once I graduate.
Based on that list of events you might expect him to provide a wise, experienced-based warning that others should not follow his example. You might expect him to advise, “Don’t go to a college you can’t afford, don’t wrack up debt you can’t pay, and don’t major in a subject that won’t help you get a job. And for goodness sake don’t do all those things twice!”
But instead, Mr. Hopp takes a different approach: