Essay Contest

This was an essay I submitted for a scholarship. The maximum length allowed was 250 words.


“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” These were the words written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau over 200 years ago to describe what he believed as the ubiquity of unjust governments that enslaved all human kind. Unfortunately, these words can be used today to describe a different type of tyranny, one that reigns supreme in determining all of our important actions. This tyranny is none other than the tyranny of financial burden. Most of us might not live under the fist of kings anymore, but our enslavement to monetary necessity is only increasing.

The most cruel facet of this tyranny is the rising cost of education. Just last year the amount of student loan debt outpaced credit card debt and is likely to top a trillion dollars this year. The average student in 2010 who took out a loan left college with $24,000 in debt. Owing that much money before entering the job market is a such an oppressive force on our freedoms. Forget being an artist! Forget being a philosopher! Forget being whatever you always wanted to be if it will not bring you wealth! If you think that you are free, you are greatly mistaken.

I refuse to accept this fate. I will do whatever I can to free myself from the shackles of monetary necessity so that I may spend my life chasing after my dreams and developing my passions. It is for this reason that I would greatly appreciate your assistance.