In an unsuccessful attempt to prove resilience and fortitude to financial aid departments nationwide, malnourished optometry students turned pseudo-political activists have ended their “Financial Aid Hunger Strike” instantly following their loan disbursements.
“I was on a very healthy carrot and water diet. It was very cost effective and got the job done,” explained first year student Wong Nguyen, who has survived for a few weeks on nutrition that would support a rabbit.
For those who are not familiar, most students take out an average of $150,000 in loans. However, actual checks are not sent out until a few weeks into the semester. “Pharmacology is difficult. Clinical rounds are challenging. But the hardest part of optometry school is not eating anything for close to a month,” says first year student Allister McAllister.
“Personally, I was getting used to pinching pennies and eating scraps,” said Allister. “I don’t mind going to meaningless club meetings simply for the food. On the other hand, I’d rather not do that.”
Students choose from a variety of subsidized, unsubsidized, or even private loan options. After optometry school ends, students receive an entire six month grace period to put their lives together and come to the sudden realization that they must pay back the money they borrowed.
“I lose close to 6 to 7 pounds at the beginning of each semester, but it’s all worth it since I know that the loans I will have to pay back with an obscene interest rate will eventually come through,” explained third year student Joyce Dabish. “I usually buy 30 to 40 packs of Top Ramen and hope for the best.”
Besides studying for exams, managing money should also be an important aspect of optometry school. Most students have never had to go through the agony of paying back money they spend, plus interest! Let’s remember that while financial aid is our best friend now, it will soon stop being so cordial. As a wise professor once said, “live like a student in school so you can live like a doctor upon graduation.” Or not.
In unrelated news, students calling their parents for “just some cash to get through the week” have significantly decreased.