Yeah see I did the opposite of you. I started in Fall 2005 too. BA in History. Was told if I just got that paper, the world was my oyster. Didn't matter the degree, do what you're passionate about I was told. Turns out it did matter!
Went back in 2016 for a BS in Computer Science and now I make 4 times what I made in a year at my old retail job. I just graduated this past May. The system really likes to to punish kids who don't get it right the first time. No grants or scholarships for second degree students. I had zero debt from my first degree because I worked my way through school and got scholarships and grants to pay the rest.
Fact is, despite whatever boomer anecdotes you might hear, it's impossible to graduate from school debt free if you can't get financial aid. I have about 30k in Stafford loans (thankfully) from this last degree even though I worked full time while I took classes.