Taking a moment to reflect. Graduated high school in 2001, at the time my earnings were around a whopping $6.00 an hour. Today I make more than double that, for work I would consider less repetitive and more analytical in nature. For me, there has been value in a college degree. Truth remains on how much value, but still a noticeable difference over many of my counterparts who do not know a specific trade.
I’m no saint, but it’s interesting to see where people have ended up over the years. Some dropped out of college, others are just finishing up their Associates degree 9 years later than I. Today I came across a news story about a girl some of my peers were trying to set me up with. She was arrested on charges of petty larceny. The second time it’s happened in the last year. I never really trusted the girl at the time, so my intuition turned out to be right.
My views on money were much different in high school than today. I realize the value of a dollar, but I also know that I don’t want to be a slave to money. It’s one thing to work hard and another to be obsessed to the point where nothing else matters. Friendships, relationships, health. I idolized the men on Wall Street for being so talented at what they did, essentially building an empire from nothing. Life’s experiences have shown me there’s much more than having all those expensive material items. I don’t have to lie to people to make a buck, can go home with a clear conscience each night and don’t work 100-110 hours a week like some of the people at Goldman. A friend’s sister works there, pulls a 6 figure income but is it really worth it? Literally no life outside of work, maybe one free day a week to do anything remotely sociable.
In 2001 I really needed to work on my self esteem. Had a vision in my mind that going to college would open doors and allow me to comfortably live on my own two feet. I thought I could somehow make it work with a girl if I tried hard enough. Suze Orman always talks about speaking in your truth and I always felt like doing that was a lie. It’s great I’m in a relationship with a man I can be completely open with about my money and my life. I know a lot of couples hide things or act out of fear and it really takes a toll on them after a while
Life is too short for that crap. If you have 40k in debt, don’t hold it all inside. It eats you up after a while to hold onto that burden on your shoulders. 10 years ago I was not mature enough to make many of the decisions I am consciously making now. Intellectually I could understand the reasons for doing things, but I lacked the experience that comes with age and the willpower to make some of the harder decisions. I don’t live in a bubble, but I also am not seeking constant approval from people I don’t even care about in the first place (keep up with the Joneses). In fact if anything I’m put off by those who behave as though they are superior just because they spend more money on trips, cars, dinners, etc.