Talons Philosophy

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Post Secondary = Deteriorating Mental Health?

After thinking long and hard about something I am super passionate about, it was school. Not just school, but a higher education. The goal of people’s lives (seemingly so) is to maintain good grades throughout their adolescence in order to get into a good school, in order to get a good job, in order to make good money, it never stops. Is the price we pay too high? Are we putting too much on the line? Trying to live up to these unreachable standards has been completely stressing me out. Though I really shouldn’t complain, as I know people have it much worse than I do. I am starting to apply for universities, and if trying to maneuver through their damn websites wasn’t enough, the financial pages seem to be the only legible ones. Back to that, if I hadn’t had loving and generous parents, as well as having lucky timing, my chances at having a low stress school experience would have been pretty slim. I have a savings account which covers a little over a years costs of most of the universities I have looked at. If it wasn’t for my mom selling her house when she did, I would have completely suffered from student loans, probably for the rest of my life. If drowning in debt wasn’t enough, the mental health issues that come along with it are probably the worst of it.


This can be broken down into the following premises and conclusion:


Premise one: Post Secondary is expensive as hell.


Premise two: Root of deteriorating mental health is stress.


Premise three: Student loans are commonly used for post secondary.


Conclusion: Students who took out more student loans were more likely to report poor mental health in early adulthood.


By evaluating the various premises’ truth and/or accuracy, we might be able to reveal the soundness of my argument.

Premise one can be easily accepted as true.

Premise two can be contended with, but I can guarantee that anyone with mental health issues (aka anyone with a student load) and agree to the fact that stress is the leading cause in many mental health issues.

Premise three can be seen as true, as the trend of most Canadians is to ensure independence and responsibility at a young age. Not only that fact, but many Canadian families also have more than one child. Many parents cannot afford to send all of their children to school, therefor making them equally suffer together in student loans.

Is there soundness? It’s hard to say. I think for anyone on the opposite side of the spectrum would agree with me in the costly advances universities have made. On the other hand, the factual correctness is all on my own perspective, so to say the main cause of these students mental health is dependent upon whether or not they have student loans could be seen as narrow-minded as there are always confounding variables in any situation.

Over all, I feel although I am being a bit of a generalist with these terms (sorry Jackson I’ve been up sick all day and of course put this off until midnight), I have looked up a few stats about this which can be found at the following links,

Canadian Polling in British Columbia

CBC News

I would like to think that I have made completely sound and agreeable premises and conclusion, but to be honest I cannot really be sure until I am there, living life one dime, nickel and penny at a time.




6 Responses to Post Secondary = Deteriorating Mental Health?

  1. Oscar W. says:

    Hey Sam,

    Upon coming across your post I was actually thinking about post-secondary, pondering over the question of what my future holds for me. I for one find this topic very thought-inducing (for better or for worse) while I really liked the way you addressed the deterrent stress educational success inflicts on us adolescents; it is only worsened by the thought of student loans and financial crises, as you mentioned. I really enjoyed how you addressed your views.

    From what I am interpreting your argument is mainly focused on financial stability and how the effects of student loans cause unmanageable stress on university/college students; don’t forget high school students who have to worry about that stuff. While this may be true I think there is much more to mental stress than just student loans when it comes to education. I acknowledge that you mentioned that there are various reasons for being stressed regarding schooling, but in my opinion, there is much more to mental instability than just not being able to pay off student loans. At least for me, its a lot about educational success rather than financial success; i for one think that comes second after you’ve laid out that career that can potentially get you the big bucks (if that’s what you want). You had even mentioned it yourself at the beginning of your argument; the notion that most adolescents/young adults work like mad for good grades just to get that illusive acceptance letter to university or that degree they’ve been working for to get that job, seeming like its the most important prospect in they’re lives. Would you say it would also be valuable to address how the fight for good grades is also a reason for mental stress instability(?) Losing sleep, unhealthy eating and lack of exercise. The list goes on. I know you were up late (as I am right now) but I’d say it would be a good idea to briefly think about those few topics of educational success and stress rather than just the financial part of it, although that is also very valuable.

    Nonetheless, I thought your post was incredibly thought-provoking although I spend a lot of my time in my life thinking about my future at least once a day. It was really nice to see that I wasn’t the only one going through this, appreciating a post like this being up on for all of us “stressed” students to see and think about. You addressed your topic very well regarding mental-stress regarding finances and schooling. I’m very keen to hear what you think and I’m hopeful that your future will be bright, even if its only one dime, nickel and penny at a time.

    • Sam Jones says:

      Hey Oscar! Thank you for the insightful and in depth reply! I appreciate your feedback although I would like to mention I did say in my post that there are many confounding variables (as you gave exercise and a few other things as confounding examples) to add that of course financial instability is not the only cause to mental health issues/ stress. I am sad to hear you have also been stressed out about post secondary, although it seems like an inevitable aspect for those who choose to pursue a higher education.
      Thank you again for your feedback, it’s much appreciated!

  2. lyleah99 says:

    Hey Sam,

    I like your post and for a grade 12 class, it’s super relevant to what is on a lot of our minds right now. I am simultaneously applying for schools and for scholarships to pay for it, and I’m sure you’re doing the same.

    I have a few ideas that might strengthen your argument, and maybe one day influence change in the ‘expensive as hell’ university tuition in Canada. Your existing premises are excellent and I don’t think they could be argued with. One premise that I think should be added is a connector between premise 3 and the conclusion, that shows the effect that student debt is a huge cause of stress in post-secondary students. Something along the lines of:

    Premise one: Post Secondary is expensive as hell.
    Premise two: Root of deteriorating mental health is stress.
    Premise three: Large amounts of debt is a major stressor to students.
    Premise four: Student loans are commonly used for post secondary, and often create major debt.
    Conclusion: Students who took out more student loans were more likely to report poor mental health in early adulthood.

    This connects the debt of the loan to stress, and therefore connects the debt to deteriorating mental health. I think with this added premise you have a much stronger argument against ridiculous university tuition.

    Thanks for the post, I needed a vent for my underfinanced student career frustrations.

    • Sam Jones says:

      Hey Lyle!
      Thank you for the comment! I agree that adding the fourth premise would correlate my premises better, although we were only supposed to do two or three (at least to my understanding as I probably wasn’t paying attention as per usual). I am sad to hear this has also been stressing you out! Though it does seem like an anticipation we all await for if we choose to pursue a higher education.
      Thank you again!
      Sam. :)

  3. ericj says:

    Hey Sam,

    I like your post, and its probably what most grade 12’s are thinking about at this point.

    I completely agree with the points you made, about the inherent stress that comes with university. The absurdly high fees to attend university not only makes it extremely difficult for some people, but it also puts a lot of stress to do well, partly due to the huge financial commitment.
    That being said I’d like to ask, how much do you think students should pay for university?
    Should it be free?
    I’ve heard some points for and against free university, and I’m interested in what you think about it.
    Thanks for posting about a topic i’m sure many of us have been thinking a lot about.

    • Sam Jones says:

      Hi Eric!
      I’ve actually had this discussion with a couple of friends and I couldn’t quite come to a conclusion. My thoughts are- say we make university open to everyone,I think it would be possible to assume that they wouldn’t take t as seriously as those who work their butts off to get where they are right now. I think they should definitely consider lowering the costs as it takes out such a huge toll on so many families, but I can’t say that I completetly agree on having a cost free post secondary education!
      Thank you for the thought provoking response!


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