My journey to higher education and managing debt has been essentially, 25 years in the making from the point in which I would choose my life's destiny. Rising from a home once adored to one of child abuse, homelessness, shelters, and foster homes, I made a concerted decision to alter my life's trajectory. Typically such descriptions lead to anecdotal statistical references but after serving my nation for over two decades, I have come to know that this was not at all possible without the mentorship and making decisions towards success.
While on the cusp of publishing my first, and quite possibly my only book; Nobody: The Rise From Child Abuse and a Cardboard Box, I am reminded how every detour, shortfall, and otherwise tragic condition would be as prevalently valuable as those considered "positive". I cringe at the saying, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. No! You make the damn space shuttle with those lemons. It seems impossible but then again seemingly impossible dreams and aspirations do not come from direct linkages. This world is about winners and losers but what must be of great importance is that we work together in making as many winners as possible.
So how does the apply to this forum and/or entry? Simple. Unlike many who have been afforded assistance and opportunities with family or careers with funding, everything achieved thus far has been wholly placed upon me. Possessing debt, has been equated to investing towards my future. Most of it is due to building my curriculum vitae via educational opportunities while building and maintaining a family. Understanding where I am and where I need to go and be within a specific period of time and remaining dedicated to that goal is key.
Ultimately, I do not believe in free education or many other free social offerings. The greatest rewards are those that are worked for and have meaning. Again, winners and losers. There are no two-first place Super Bowl, World Soccer champions, etcetera each year. Hence, we need not try and convince ourselves any differently when applying this to life and aspirations.