These days, we hear a lot of moaning and complaints about Student Loans. Presidential candidates are promoting “Student Loan Forgiveness”. Students who took out these loans for higher education no longer want to pay them back. They want this loan
I cannot speak as a person who
had high debt loan after college. Because I didn’t have
loans to re-pay after college. Instead, I worked several jobs during the school year to pay
for my schooling. And, I applied and obtained a small
loan which was largely forgiven if I worked for 5 years in my chosen career, nursing. Other than approximately $500,
I had no school debt. And I paid off what I owed during my first few years of working.
Financing my education by always working while going to
school was not easy nor fun,
but I did earn my degree through my own blood, sweat and tears. And my college debt
was minimal once I graduated.
I attended two expensive, small liberal arts colleges to
earn my bachelor’s of nursing degree. My parents had 3 other kids at home and could not afford to help me much financially. My mom told me from the very first that I would have to contribute significantly to my education costs. And, I did.
First of all, I applied for a nursing scholarship and got it. This scholarship helped pay for a year of tuition with the stipulation that I work for 5 years in nursing when I graduated. At that time I’d have to pay back almost $500. And I did. This was the only scholarship I applied for.
I worked ‘work study’ programs throughout my college years. First in the Education Department and then in Food Service. I worked 16 hours per week during Monday through Friday at my work study job. Then, I worked every Friday and Saturday night as a nurse’s aide at our local hospital. I slept at my parent’s house after each night shift was complete.
I also took a gap year between my freshman and sophomore years to work full-time in a hospital. All of the funds earned during that year went to tuition, room and board. My personal expenses also came from my earned wages. My parents gave me no spending money, so I took that from these wages, too. I also used this money for text books. My parents gave me no $$ for books.
During my college years I had very little time for fun. The nursing curriculum was very demanding of my time and attention. When I wasn’t studying, I was working to earn money for tuition, room and board.
I survived college. It wasn’t easy. Lots and lots of concentrated work. But, I had little college debt after graduation and I did get a full-time job as a nurse.
I wonder how many students work all of the way through college these days. It is a way of avoiding student loans.
I don’t regret my college years. I’m proud of my hard work. It was worth it. I did have fun come back into my life after college.
I retired from nursing five years ago after forty years in this profession. Nursing is a very rewarding career.