Again proceeding with my 30 things to do before I’m 30. I finally paid off my student loans.
For those of you who never had them, congratulations. For those of you who can relate, I feel your pain.
When I was in high school, attending college seemed so limited if I didn’t get a scholarship. I also thought that there was no way that my parents would afford to send me to an Ivy League college. After attending the Junior Statesman at Yale in 11th grade, it didn’t seem impossible. The only difference: I didn’t see myself at Yale after spending those 3 weeks on campus. I started to do some research but no one pointed me in the right direction. My guidance counselor, although knowledgeable, didn’t seem seem to know anything in my field of interest. I was the only student who was part of the Science and Math magnet program who spoke of studying graphic design. HBCUs wouldn’t cut it because I assumed I’d never make it through. I was an anomaly. I loved math and science but didn’t see myself as an engineer although I was very curious about chemical engineering. Also, I loved economics. Even one of my teachers at the time wondered why I didn’t leave art as a hobby and pursue a mathematics degree. Meh, I loved art. It’s the only time I felt like myself… When I was being creative.
I was working for John at the time and he supported the idea of investing in myself. He made me feel like I could make it… Despite my income status, he made me feel absolutely brilliant and if I pursued a degree, I’d be able to pay off my loan in no time. In fact, most of my teachers were like John, they seem to all believe in me. I’m lucky.
I started applying to colleges that I heard of and came across RIT through an alumni of my high school. I got in and they did offer the most money out of every school that I applied to (I got into every school that I applied to). In the end, the choice was clear: RIT would be the proper investment. Although there was quite abit of grants and scholarships, there wasn’t enough to cover almost a full year at this private institution. Also, since the parents wouldn’t have been able to cover my tuition, I had to do it on my own.
As soon as I graduated, I started the process of consolidating and repayment.
Now a few years years later, I’m fortunate to say that I don’t owe Sallie Mae a dime anymore. Sallie Mae owed me:$2.36 and they just repadd it.
Now I’m free! Now, I can continue to pursue my proper goals, as soon as I’m done having ramon noodles.jerlynthomas