To whoever takes the time to read this. I thank you first and foremost!
Hi there, I’m a 26-year-old full-time worker who has never had the chance to go to college or obtain a degree due to numerous circumstances. The biggest obstacle has always been money. Though I had decent grades back in high school, I was going through a health situation that prevented me from having the courage to apply to college. I opted to go to a Vocational school to earn a certificate and luckily enough, I was able to obtain a full-time job right after at the age of 18. Even though the tuition for the Vocational school does not even come close to what an actual college would cost, I’m still paying off THOSE loans years later. So the thought of needing to get more loans to finally go to school is extremely frightening.
I don’t want to be in my 40’s and still regret not going to school. And college is only going to get more and more expensive. I’ve always been a dreamer. I’ve always had big dreams that to some may be ridiculously possible but to me have always been achingly unattainable. To give you an idea of the type of person that I am, I relate very much to Rapunzel from the movie Tangled. Though she’s much brighter than me, she and I have the same love of dreaming and adventures. Except I’m not trying to make my way towards some gleaming lantern lights, but an education. My 20’s have been stagnant and depressing being far from where I would like to be. I can only hope I could start studying now and maybe live the life I’ve always wanted in my 30’s.
I keep having to see other 20 years old living the life I’ve always wanted. Even though they complain from how much they have to study, they’re at least looking at a bright future. I’m not exactly sure what’s waiting for me at the end of the tunnel but I’m just sadly aware of how far off the light still is. I feel like a mouse on a mouse wheel, constantly moving but staying at the same place. I’m the middle child in my family and my older sister/cousins didn’t go to college. I never had anyone pushing me for that so I didn’t get the importance of further education until I figured it was too late. My younger sister is set to attend a highly accredited University after her Senior year and though I’m proud and ecstatic for her, there’s always this constant pain because no one supported me the way I supported her. She’s bound to study debt free because she’s a straight-A student. I learned from my mistakes and always pushed her to be the best.
Seeing her going off to study stress-free is taking a toll on what I’m starting to call my very early mid-life crisis. I’m still living with my parents, though I help them with rent and other things. Even with the good full-time job I have now, I cannot afford to move out. Let alone be able to afford moving out and becoming independent if I go into more debt with student loans. According to my calculations, it’s going to cost me almost $60k to get an online degree while I work full time because I don’t have the luxury to not work and pay off my other bills. That amount of money is insane and is the only reason why I haven’t made my final decision to start classes. If anyone is willing to help, you will have my full gratitude. And if you don’t have the means, I thank you for reading this far anyway.