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October 2, 2021

Debt for Education: is it Worth It?

I’m going to have a lot of debt when I leave school.

When I say a lot, I mean a lot.

I won’t write the number here, but let’s just say getting an education in the United States is expensive. 

It’s more than expensive. It’s ridiculous. 

Close friends of mine tell me (all the time) that I can’t go to school forever. While I know I can’t financially afford this for a lifetime, I look at them and still ask, “Why not?” 

To be honest. I have no idea how I’m going to pay all of this off, but at the end of the day, I would never say I wish I hadn’t gone to school. 

School has been my lifeline. 

It gave me health insurance when I wouldn’t have had it.

It provided a sort of family I so desperately needed.

It gave me close advisors who I turned into surrogate parents. 

School was, and still is, my sanctuary. 

Over the years, friends, therapists, and coworkers have encouraged me to stop, but I always shake my head feverishly and say, “No.” 

I don’t know if I’ll become a professor or do anything with psychology after this program, but I do know I will finish. My goal was never a dream career. It was just to finish this PhD because I knew I could. 

I’ve never been the most intelligent student in the classroom.

I’ve never been that articulate.

All I’ve ever done is show up and try.

Maybe it’s not the wisest financial decision to make, but there is nothing about this PhD journey that I wish I hadn’t done.

No, I can’t afford this degree. 

I have no idea how I will pay for it.

It’s okay, though, because my greatest joy in life is being in a community with others who enjoy learning too. 

If you’re scared to go to college because of how much it may cost, I hear you. I can relate.

Do it anyway.

I mean it.

You have one life to live. Find what you love and learn about it. These loans, ironically, gave me a better life.

I think, in the end, things will work out for all of us. 

Follow your dreams and don’t think about the money right now.

Instead, go to art school, apply to a graduate program, and follow that beautiful heart of yours.

~

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