The dreaded topic no new grad wants to talk about. Why is it so bad? Why should it be this bad?
Let me start off by talking about my current situation and my student loan debt. First off, I started in the financially smart route by going to community college for my first two years. I wasn’t sure on what path or career I ultimately wanted, but I knew I wanted to do something in health care. I had jogged around med school, but knew I would grow impatient with the time commitment of going to school and that my financial situation would be a major setback. I also thought about going to PA school, but I didn’t research it much.
So, I decided on nursing. I was originally going to stay in state and go to a program at the community college I was accepted into. For many reasons, (which you’ll learn about if you continue visiting this page) I decided to get out of state, out of beautiful Wyoming. I looked at a few schools out of state that had nursing programs as well as a track/cross country team. I had it narrowed down to two private colleges, both of which offered me scholarship to compete. The scholarship they offered me sounded great, but I’ve come to find out it wasn’t as good as I thought. Neither was the financial aid and grants I was offered.
It all sounded great and my education was amazing. I felt that I was able to really get to know my instructors and my classmates. I had the opportunity to have clinicals at two great hospitals and a variety of other health care institutions. I also believe it pushed me harder to jump at every opportunity I had. I had a few part-time jobs that led me to meet an incredible number of people. It also led me to land an amazing internship at an incredible medical facility that changes medicine everyday. It pushed me to get the best grades I’ve ever had and be able to walk across the stage at graduation with honors.
But now, I’m left with the aftermath. A whopping $900 a month on average for my payments of federal and private loans. To put this into perspective on how this affects my financial status, it’s approximately 1/3 of my monthly income. Also consider that the town I live in currently is in a “renting crisis” because the hospital here has made this a “medical destination”. Never heard of either of those, but it means rent is high for everyone and a lot people can’t afford to live here.
I’m a brand new nurse in my twenties living in a new state. Now, I know I’ve put this on myself, but how is this fair to me, someone who left her home to push her boundaries and find amazing new adventures outside her comfort zone? Aren’t we supposed to chase our dreams?
It’s a hard truth, I tried not to think about it so I could enjoy my little bit of summer before beginning work. But now I have to face it head on. I’ve spoke with both of the financial companies and tried to see if I could get my payments lowered. I may have found a way to drop one by $100 a month (ANYTHING IS BETTER AT THIS POINT!). And lucky for me, this great place I work at is a non-profit. This meaning that if I continue to work here for 10 years, whatever is left of my debt will be forgiven… But at that point, there isn’t much left.
I’m not sure if more research would have changed my decision, or if I knew what was coming for me would have made me opt for a cheaper educational plan or university. I do wish I would have sought after more scholarships to apply for. I couldn’t have worked more and tried to pay out of pocket. And unfortunately, my family just doesn’t have the means to help me out with this. I decided to go where I wanted to go, and this is where I’m at! I’m always looking for relief options or ways to keep me on top of it all. It’s manageable. I just don’t get to live like most in their 20s and spend what I want to on whatever I want.
That’s life, isn’t it? The high and lows come, and you never plateau. You just have to keep a positive mindset and do your best everyday and hope that you get a little more sunshine your way. Thanks for listening, sorry it’s not the cheeriest post! I look forward to your feedback. Come back again. ❤