It’s December 2013. It took 4.5 years, 3 majors, and way too many credits earned to complete my Bachelors degree; but I did it. I worked at least 2 jobs my entire college career paying overages on living expenses that my loans didn’t cover, finished my studies with a 3.8 GPA, and completed 3 internships- 1 for marine bio and 2 for marketing. I have my first job lined up as a real adult: working at the Sun Sentinel newspaper in Deerfield Beach as a Client Services Representative, with a salary of a $34k. My family saved up and plan to fly down (for the first time, ever) to watch me walk in commencement in May. I’m excited to see what life as a real adult is like and can’t wait to no longer live paycheck to paycheck. I’m on top of the world.
It’s June 2014, and I receive my statements from my two loan vendors, crushing that dream of no longer living paycheck to paycheck. I knew they were coming, and I knew they weren’t going to be pretty, but I was not ready for what I received.
$128,000. I owe, ONE HUNDRED TWENTY EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS. My minimum payment option is $800 a month. That’s almost half my monthly paycheck. After some crying, pleading with the great forces above, and the five stages of grief, I finally reach acceptance and start looking for a solution to my problems.
Fast forward to now: it’s 2020. I am back in the Boston area, working as a Brand Marketing Manager for a well known fitness and health app. I have climbed the ladder in my career and grown as a professional; I have found my niche. I have traveled to 12 countries on 5 different continents, and seen the northern lights in Iceland, the running of the bulls in Pamplona, and the Loy Krathong Festival in Thailand. I spend my weekends in the winter snowboarding, and my summers camping, hiking, rock-climbing, attending concerts and trying new things like whitewater rafting.
And I now pay $1500 a month in student debt.
I am far from rich (or even financially stable- thank you, private schools) and still have a few years of this left, but if you’re anything like me you’re constantly trying new things to help you find your balance. Not only with student debt, but balance in focus: between life and work, spending and saving, experiences and milestones, finding your path.
This blog is about what I’ve tried and how it’s worked (or hasn’t). I will be writing about things like managing finances, adding balance to your lifestyle, career growth and overcoming stereotypes, how to travel the world on a budget, and ultimately focusing on your goals and setting new ones.
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“Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived. Follow the path that is no path; follow your bliss.” -Joseph Campbell