So today the real world started sneaking up on me. Well, actually, it came right up to me, handed me a paper, booklet, and a free pen, smiled, and reminded me of all the money these last four years are going to cost me (plus interest of course). Wowza. Hello loan exit interview, and hello realization that I will still be living on pb&j for the next ten years at least. Was it worth it?
I could have worked for a while before going into college. I could have joined the military to get money for it. I could have lived with my parents and gone to one of the local schools. But no. First I, a girl with no more than twenty dollars to my name, decided to go to a private school in Texas. Then, after two years of that, I transferred back up to a public school in Minneapolis, where it would take me an extra two years to get the degree I wanted...though I could have gotten a degree in special ed in only four years at a different school.
And now. Here I am. Four years. Three majors. Two schools. One degree (almost). No license to teach. Just as confused as ever as to what I want to be when I grow up. Was it worth it?
Yes. A resounding yes. It most definitely was. I don't know if I can even begin to explain how much I have learned, changed, and grown over the last four years. College life has exposed me to so many new people, thoughts, ideas, ways of living, opinions, research, stories, cultures, and experiences. In learning about all those other things, what I really learned was about myself; who I am, what I think about things, how I react to different situations, relate to different people, and think about the world. College has stretched my mind, my comfort zone, and my passions. It has helped me to realize who I am, why I am the way I am, and who I want to be. It has shown me more of the world than I have ever known before, shown me its problems, and asked me to step up and do something about it. And I want to. I'm ready. Not to solve the world's problems, but to identify and deal with the problems that lie within me, while simultaneously living for something more than just me; bigger than myself.
For those who are contemplating college; do it. Live on campus if you can. Get to know people. Get involved. Get out of your comfort zone. You just may love it and discover things you wouldn't otherwise. Home will most likely still be there if you decided to return. Don't be scared of change.
As for me, I'll be making huge payments towards college loans for the next ten years...but realistically, if I finish in 10 years, I'll be done paying them off by the time I'm 31. That's not old at all. And besides, I happen to LOVE pb&j :)