I remember being in college and seeing the pretty credit card representatives at the tables in the commons giving away toys and other knick-knacks in return for filling out a credit card application. I was 20 and in college when I filled out 6 credit card applications because I was ignorant and naive enough to believe that I would have a hard time getting even one credit card. I thought I could improve my chances by filling out 6 applications! In the end, only American Express was responsible enough to not approve my application. Yes, I received 5 credit cards in the mail within a few weeks. Luckily, I did not go down the same path that so many others do.
I had a girlfriend after college who paid off her college credit card debts five years after graduating. The really sad thing is that congress recently passed legislation that does not automatically forgive credit card debt upon declaration of bankruptcy. This means that there is no way to get a clean start anymore. It seems odd that credit card companies can be reckless enough to extend credit to students, charge high interest to absorb that risk, AND not have to worry about those credit balances ever being cleared through bankruptcy.