What’s the appropriate emotion when tuition increases by 18.75%?

  • And my loans already include more than $10,000 due in interest alone?
  • And my limited interest subsidies were just destroyed?
  • And I could somehow buy a house at an interest rate of 3.5%, but must soon pay a hefty 6.8% on education loans?



Sometimes it’s hard not to feel an emotion I’ll summarize as SN@*(9832hd98!3H?89!NFS?^N*KJ!!!

It’s a strange mix of fury and anxiety blended with a tinge of guilt for complaining in the first place about this so-called First World Problem. To combat this internal struggle, I decided to consult the literature on the psychology of indebtedness. Evidence-based whining?

A 2011 study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine reports, “Self-efficacy and access to collective purpose softened the negative effect of perceived financial strain on distress.”

This reminds me of how grateful I should be that dentistry is such a strong and unified profession. Dental students lead the way in cultivating a “collective purpose”, and I’m so grateful for our talented and inspiring community of colleagues.

Thank you, ASDA, for offering a “collective purpose” that preserves the mental health of this dental student and thousands more.

“If persons perceived above average access to collective purpose, there was no difference in their mental health in terms of whether perceived financial strain was low or high; in other words, their mental health remained stable.”

How do you cope with debt? Share your tips and concerns in a comment!

~Colleen Greene, Editor-in-Chief, Harvard ’13

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