I can honestly look back on my college experience with fond memories; trivia nights at Uno’s, meetings for the school’s e-zine, ice skating, going downtown during the peak tourist season, all of my fun classes (and even the ones that were so boring the mold was sleeping).
But there is one thing I don’t miss: the start of the school year hassle to get a loan. The annoying emails and letters reminding me that my bill is due by a certain date or the school will not hold my classes for me (even though that certain date would come and go without procuring a student loan, and if I wanted I could go until signing up for the next semester’s classes before suffering real damage from being locked out).
This time last year I was spending every day reminding myself to fill out an application for a loan – because classes start in a month and the sooner it was taken care of, the sooner I would get my refund check (which almost always went to living expenses rather than anything fun).
Following my graduation ceremony, I knew I could hold my head high and be absolutely certain that the only PAY US FOR YOUR COLLEGE EXPERIENCE letters I would receive would be from my student loans.
I didn’t account for damage charges.
I suppose it seems silly to assume (when the only time I spent in my apartment on campus was in my bedroom, sitting on my bed or at my desk and rarely venturing to any other part of the six-person apartment) that I would not be stuck with a bill for damages to the common area/our apartment.
No, it’s not sarcasm (although would anyone blame me if it was?). I lived on campus for three years, and each year we were notified that, if someone did not step forward and admit to causing whatever damage that was
found following move-out, then everyone would be charged. It makes sense, sort of. Was I a little upset when I received the email? Who wouldn’t be?
Was I responsible? Unless I’m a sleepwalker and all those times I thought I was fighting monsters in my dreams, I was really damaging things, then NO. But how is the school supposed to know all that? They had to do what they consider fair, since no one stepped forward. I was caught off guard, but I accept the twenty dollar charge.
Eh … I just have no idea what I’m paying for. Was there paint peeled off the wall? Surely I’m not receiving a twenty dollar fee over some paint chips. Did someone break a window? But I feel like I would have noticed that. Was the wall blown out? Someone could have built a spaceship and set it off in the living room, for all I know.
Not to sound paranoid, but without being told exactly what I’m paying for, how do I know the school isn’t just trying to suck a little more of my future finances from my pocket?
Have any other students/grads out there encountered this problem? I suppose my only solution is to call the school and ask for details, but really – shouldn’t a receipt tell me all that?