Like many essay collections, this one has some excellent ones and some that didn’t work for me. But one thing I can’t deny is that the author is absolutely hilarious and sarcastic and I had many laugh out loud moments. It’s even more fun if you listen to the audiobook.
However, the fun nature of the writing doesn’t take away from the seriousness of the topics he is discussing – crippling student debt, making not so happy career choices to keep paying the bills, having to choose between eating a meal or paying the next installment, dealing with bill collectors all the time, probably not going to the doctor in lieu of not being able to afford insurance, believing oneself not worthy of love or happiness or any good thing because being in debt is considered a moral failure, trying to drown the sorrows through other vices – every issue that author talks about and the situations that he has experienced tugs at your heartstrings. He is also rightfully critical of the political and capitalist systems that are responsible for the insurmountable debt that students find themselves in with no silver lining in sight.
His essay that he dedicates to his mother and says how he can never repay her for all that she has done for him really touched me, and also made me realize my own extreme privilege in graduating without any student loans and how I can’t truly understand the despair he talks about. And I’m still amazed at the irreverent tone he manages to maintain throughout.
But if there’s one thing that he wishes everyone takes from his book and one advise that I truly believe we all can use – it’s that learn to forgive yourself and make time for your own happiness. Whatever problem we have isn’t going anywhere, but that doesn’t mean we should deprive ourselves of the little things that give us joy.