RALEIGH --A Meredith College student is taking the internet by storm with her graduation photos themed around student debt. She posted them to a picture sharing website last week and and hundreds of thousands of views later, she's on the home page of Buzzfeed and Mashable.
As a theater major, Maigan Kennedy has a flair for the dramatic and knows how to put on a show for the cameras. This spring, she couldn't wait to take her graduation pictures.
"I took them so I could send graduation announcements to my family because it's taken me 9 years to graduate," she said. "And we all wanted to celebrate."
Kennedy said it started out pretty traditional, taking pictures for her grandmother. But before too long she couldn't hold back her artsy side.
"I couldn't have a photographer in front of me and not goof off," she commented.
Her pictures include her on the ground surrounded by bills with 'Overdue!' stamped on them. Others have her holding up a tiny trophy with 'Debt' written on the front.
"I just wanted to make a joke out of it and I think debt is part of the American college experience," she explained. "It's certainly part of my experience and I wanted to laugh at it and I wanted other people to laugh with me."
She says some people get it, but others don't have a sense of humor.
Kennedy says some people have complained that she is politicizing student loan debt as well as complaining about her degree and not making money to pay the debt.
She counters that none of that is true and that student loan debt is a very real issue college students deal with. Kennedy says it will take her decades to pay off her loans.
She says she is happy with the education she got at Meredith and that even if it doesn't make her rich, she will be happy working in theater.