I don't think this is the status quo for students in the United States either.
I guess I just don't see paying off student loans quickly with large chunks of cash as some kind of mandatory human need, like eating or having shelter. I think this circumstance is absolutely ridiculous to be honest. Sure, debt sucks and credit is important.. but it's not life shattering. Plenty of people with crappy credit function every day in the US. Plenty of people not even lucky enough to attend college still manage to eat and survive, every day. Infact, the majority.
See, there are alot of things someone can do to avoid selling their ass. And maybe it's not real fun, or pretty, or easy. Maybe it requires moving back in with mom and dad, or selling your car and taking public transport, or taking a job that eats your soul like the rest of us cubicle farm victims. Maybe it requires one to set their image aside, live moderately.. go without a blackberry and internet connection, fancy duds and cappuccinos. Whatever.
Like i said, it's all about prioriites and re examining what seems to be an inflated sense of "quality of life". I scoff at those that are like.. "oh.. that is SO sad.. how TERRIBLE to resort to selling your cooter for student loan money. CLEARLY she must have had NO alternative." BS. There is always an alternative.
I've only got so much empathy and 'victim of circumstance' to go around.. and i can tell you that it usually goes to people rotting from the inside out with colon cancer at 34, or child beggers in india that mutilate themselves for money. You know, people with real problems.
I notice that she is a "full-time" student. Not working. I notice she has her own pad in Harlem. Even the bad areas aren't "cheap". I notice she had internet access, a mobile to keep in touch with her friend. I notice she was able to afford "revealing clothing" and had the technology to uplaod pictures of herself. Obviously she hasn't looked at stripping those luxuries to save herself from "destitution".
"she rubbed sunscreen into the folds of his sagging back"
I guess I just have a dark sense of humor.