Finding ways to live with debt stress-free is challenging but it is possible! You just have to stay optimistic and motivated. Here is my personal story of how I managed with debt and life while being a student.
When I first decided to go to college it was at my local community college in Florida called Hillsborough Community College. My first two semesters there I was able to pay for each class with my own money as I was working two jobs at Steak n’ Shake and Red Lobster. As the following semesters came along prices for each credit hour for classes continued to rise at an alarming rate. It came to the point where I had to sit down with my financial advisor and ask to apply for a student loan. I was very reluctant to apply for a loan but I came to a point in my life where if I don’t do this then I may end up being a server for forever… and I don’t want that. So I applied for a loan and got approved and was able to continue my college career.
As time went on I graduated with my Associates Degree and decided to move to Colorado. Before I was allowed to continue towards my Bachelor’s Degree I had to wait a year to gain my residency. During the waiting period I decided to work a lot and just save up as much as I could.
After the year of waiting I was able to apply for colleges and I got accepted to the University of Colorado Denver but the cost for tuition was way out of my budget. So once again, I spoke with financial advisors and applied for more student loans in order to continue my college career.
It was just until last semester when I questioned, “how much student debt do I have?” Once I saw the numbers, my stomach dropped and then the stress ball began to grow. I kept thinking to myself, “how am I ever going to pay this off? I don’t even know if I will get a high paying job when I leave. I’m in a pickle.” I just continued to stress over it bad, and even came to the point where I questioned if having this much student debt is worth having the piece of paper saying I have been to college.
I started to realize that I was starting to become extremely negative and that’s when I told myself, “ENOUGH!” I can’t undo what debt I have already collected but what I can do is make sure that I can find positive solutions. It is worth having a degree, If I didn’t continue college I would have looked back years later asking myself, “why did I give up?” I can’t let that fear control the knowledge and experiences that I want to have. I can find ways to manage this debt and still be able to live my life without that nagging feeling of stress.
So I began to budget, find hobbies, balance work and school, and become optimistic. I have been finding ways to do things that I enjoy doing when I have free time, being appreciative for what I do have, and learn how to manage stress. I know all of this sounds easier said than done, but it is possible! You just have to be willing to let yourself do it!
I encourage everyone to try and find a way to manage stress. I understand that you will never make stress obsolete but there are ways to bring it down low enough to where it is not affecting who you are and living your life. You can budget and still do most of things you want to do. Denver is the perfect place for it! This city has so many fun places and free events to go to! Personally for me, I enjoy golfing, making drinks, and cooking.
If I can find ways to balance happiness in my life then so can you! You just have to let yourself know that you deserve it!