I have never felt more proud of myself than the day I graduated college. Obtaining my degree was, by far, the best decision I have ever made for myself. I learned more that I could have ever imagined while in school, from relearning math skills, to writing a professional email, to how much all of this really costs. Luckily I have an amazing support system that has been there to help me set myself up for a successful future with their tips and tricks. When it comes to student loans I received a lot of advice, by the best advice I received was: do your research, and pay your interest.
My parents and family have always been there to help me when I need them. They are there to give me advice, and to be a listening ear. They have always guided me, and have always supported me in my decision to go back to school. But, they were not able to help me financially with my degree. I understood that it was up to me to make my degree happen. Something that was very important to me when making the decision to go back to school was to make sure that I knew as much information about loans as I could. After completing my FAFSA I contacted my school to make sure everything was set and correct. When my Award Letter came I read it thoroughly and made sure I understood everything. I made sure to take my Entrance Counseling seriously. I learned my differences between grants, scholarships, subsidized loans, and unsubsidized loans. When ever I felt unfamiliar or uncomfortable with something I contacted my school or FAFSA directly. I did my research and made sure that I felt secure in my decision and that I understood what it would take to keep up my end of the bargain. There were definitely time that I felt like I was swimming through mud trying to make the right choices, but I knew that going to school was the right decision form me. I made sure that I was familiar with my loans service, my portal, and that I read through every piece of literature I received. I made sure that I could do what I needed to make my dream happen.
While I was in school I was able to maintain a 3.4 GA while working full time. It was not easy but it was what made school do-able for me. When I began college I wanted to make sure that I was doing what was best with the loans I was being offered. So, I asked my mom. She told me to only take what a absolutely needed to cover my tuition and nothing more. She taught me that loans money isn't for playing with but it is to make an education possible. She also told me that it is a good idea to pay on my interest while in school. I took her advice and took only what I needed and made a little payments each month. Paying on my interest was a strange thought to me. I would just as soon pay it all together at the end, but I took the advice. Each month I saw a small payment come out of my account. Seeing that amount come out each month made me comfortable seeing my loan providers name on my statement. It made me comfortable speaking to my loans provider, and made me feel secure knowing that I could do it.
College was the best decision that I ever made, but it didn't come without nervousness and hesitation. School can be expensive, but it is totally worth every penny. I have never felt more proud of myself than the day I received my degree. Walking across the stage with my family watching, cheering, and tearing up with me was so special. To hear the words, "I am so proud of you" was worth every struggle along the way, and those words will stay with me forever. Today I thank myself for taking my family's advice to research and make interest payments, those were the best pieces of advice I received relating to loans. Going to college is a really big decision and coast and loans are a huge part of it. I am so happy that I took the jump to go back to school. I am proud to say I am a college graduate, and each month when my loan payment goes out it reminds me of the accomplishment I have made.