Harry Potter And The Curse Of The Student Loans

The Boy Who Lived battles perhaps his most difficult foe yet — Hogwarts debt.

I had some vague idea that Hogwarts was expensive. But no one told me that when I graduated I would owe an amount equivalent to roughly 300,000 butterbeers. When I first embarked upon my wizarding degree, I had zero savings of my own and no one to co-sign my loans, so I took out a private loan on the recommendation of a “friend” who later turned out to be a Death Eater (long story). Anyway, after 10 years of fighting for my life, rescuing classmates and mentors alike, blah blah blah, my interest rate was the last thing on my mind. Frankly, by my final year I assumed I could just Expelliarmus any extra debt that had accumulated.

Little did I know someone had put a Cascading Jinx on those loans. So I decided to defer them for a couple of years while I figured out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life—turns out that the only professorships they give out these days are adjunct, even at Hogwarts. I slipped on a few payments, and now I owe 60,000 Galleons more than when I started. I’m getting Howlers every second from the Ministry of Credit. I can’t walk out my door without being accosted by a fucking owl!

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24 Hours To Greatness

Resolving to become a better me wasn’t working out. So I decided to take a more radical approach

There’s a lot of complicated stuff out there that I wish I knew how to fix. But who am I to save the world? Right now, I can barely take care of myself. It’s certainly not for lack of desire—my apartment harbors plenty of evidence of an alternate, perfect me. A copy of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has cluttered my nightstand for a year. While I devoured perpetual lifehacker Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Body book—white foods bad! gut bacteria good! red wine ok-ish?—the closest I came to following his “superhuman” diet plan was posting it on the fridge. I even considered proto-productivity guru Benjamin Franklin’s strict hourly schedule, which he scrupulously tracked in a virtue journal—until I got to the part about a chaste, sober, and totally sincere life.

Perhaps it’s time for a new strategy. Instead of all these piecemeal failures, I’m going gung-ho on every lifestyle tip I can think of, all at once, within the span of a single day. Can a 24-hour optimization boot camp overhaul my undisciplined mind, leading to that ever elusive perfection? There’s only one way to find out.

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