What It's Like To Pay Your Way Through College
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What It's Like To Pay Your Way Through College

Incredibly difficult but retrospectively worthwhile

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What It's Like To Pay Your Way Through College
Katherine Blanner

When I was sixteen my parents made me get a job. I remember really resenting my mother in that moment, because it signified that my baby days were over, and I was in desperate need to begin funding my own expenses. I worked minimal hours per in my teenage years; about eight to ten hours of my week were devoted to my first job. However, generating an income adds up pretty quickly (especially when, in my teenager-hood, I had very little expenses). I quickly began saving money.

Very rarely would I touch much of the income I made from my first job. I began saving and saving, and with the help of my parents shuttling me to and from work, I saved up enough money to be able to decide as to whether I wanted to continue saving for college or purchase a car. I chose the former over the latter, even though it was difficult. College is one of the most incredible drains on my investments that I have ever spent money on.

The astronomical price of private education is particularly insane. However, the great part of the investment of knowledge is that it does not expire for a lifetime, and it cannot be stolen from the person who chooses to seek and posses it. No one can steal the knowledge or experience I have heretofore acquired in college.

That being said, my dedicated investment towards my education has come at a lofty price. During the summers, I work upwards of three jobs and run my own freelance photography business, all the while saving the money I earn to be put towards my education, living expenses, and various other bills. The summers are the best worst time to make money, seeing as I can work somewhere between 70-80 hours a week and consequently have little to no time to socialize. The school years are not that much better. This semester has been the worst one I have had heretofore due to the fact that I have to work 25 hours per week for the fast food industry and 4-7 hours per week as a writing and communications tutor. On top of working 30 odd hours per week, I take 18 credit hours. Again, I have very little time for socialization, but the beautifully busy lifestyle I live will hopefully pay off in the future.

There are nights that I come home from school and work unable to stand on my aching feet, having gone to school for seven hours and worked for eight. There are days when I don't want to wake up for class. There are days when I don't want to go to work. But I fulfill my obligations and work my hardest at attaining the best education I possibly can in the hopes of some day never having to work another crummy part-time job. I work hard so that I am able to pursue the things that I love and to create something great from it all. Paying for my own school is inanely difficult, but it is incredibly retrospectively gratifying.

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