Why an Overwhelming Amount of Debt is Just Fine

Third year of college. It’s crazy to think it’s already been almost two and a half years since I first set foot on K-State’s campus. They always said high school would be the best time of your life, but I’m finding out that’s not necessarily true. These past two and a half years have flown by and I can only assume that’s because I’m having fun.
I came to K-State with one intention: Preparation for Veterinary School. I knew it’d be a lot of hard work (re: extremely hard work), but I thought, ‘It’s worth it.’ To this day, I still have no regrets on starting my undergraduate career at K-State in Animal Sciences and Industry, Pre-Veterinary Medicine. I originally had considered starting my undergraduate studies at a smaller Division Two college, but decided to take a big leap and come to school in a place I didn’t know. Things could have gone a lot differently, but for some reason I chose the route I am on today.
The first two years of college seemed difficult at the time, but looking back, I had no idea what difficult really was. This current semester has been tough. Sometimes I wonder how and why I keep pushing. It’s been hard to find a week this semester without an exam or two, and yet I study any given night of the week. While some of my friends are out having their version of “fun,” I’m having mine. Sure, studying isn’t exactly waving your arms in the air and screaming, “WOO,” but studying now is what is preparing me for my future, which will be fun because of the hard work I’m putting in at this moment.
As I’m getting into my more difficult years of college, questions from outsiders arise. “How will you do it?” “How is it worth it?” “Why MUST you study SO much?” “Have you thought about the amount of debt you’ll have after veterinary school is all said and done?” The final question is the one that tends to grab my mind lately.
Debt. Debt is many, many things. Good is not one of those things. For a Junior in college who already has a considerable amount of debt, debt is not something I am particularly excited about. Which is probably why this is a question that has been coming up often from people around me. “Why is debt okay?”
Let’s say I successfully conquer my last year and a half of undergraduate studies, have applied to veterinary schools across the country, and happen to be accepted to a veterinary school. Family, friends, and myself would be elated at this news. Veterinary school is something I’ve wanted a very long time. However, once this settles in for a few, reality shows her scowling face. Four more years of harsh exams, late nights, no income, and double the debt. For many people, this sounds like a lot of work for a lot of stress and a lot of “not worth it’s.”
Here is why this is all just fine to me: I have a passion. For a long time, I’ve had a passion to help animals and the many people surrounding them. I understand the struggles I will face will test me in more ways than one. However, it is because of this understanding that I believe I can power through to do what I love someday. School is hard, but it keeps me busy and for that, I love it. Earlier I said time was flying because I am having so much fun, then I discussed how rough of a semester I’m having. Sounds contradicting, but I actually am having the time of my life thanks to college. Having extremely busy weeks helps me to explore and do exciting things during the moments I have free time. I’ve learned to budget my time and make all of it count. College is something I am very grateful for and I look forward to hopefully spending at least six more years learning for the remainder of my undergraduate career and into veterinary school.
While studying instead of partying and increasing debt instead of getting paid may be difficult, I have learned there are no handouts in life. Sure, I may be paying off loans until I’m seventy years old, but to me, it’s worth it and I would do it a million times over if I had the chance. So if you have a passion, don’t be afraid to work for it. Don’t let things scare you away because if you don’t follow through with it, you’ll be spending your life wishing you did. Veterinary school may be a lot of things including increasing debt, but if you love something as much as I love the idea of helping other and animals, it is all truly worth it in order to do what you love in the end.

In Sisterhood,

Natalie Timmons
Rho Class
Sigma Alpha
Alpha Omega Chapter

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Why an Overwhelming Amount of Debt is Just Fine

  1. Great writing! Thanks for sharing your passion, that is a good thing to have.

    Also, I don’t know how to share this without being a Debbie Downer, but there are a lot of veterinarians and even students already having buyer’s remorse. There are a lot of people trying to figure out ways to decrease debt, meaning it is not ‘ok’. A lot of these people started off with your perspective. How do you know that you will not change your perspective?

  2. Natalie

    Thanks for your comment, Taylor! That is a tough question to answer. I guess I don’t “know” I won’t change my perspective, however I have a very good feeling I won’t. I already have a pretty good chunk of debt racked up at 20 years old just due to school, so I already have an idea of what having a lot of debt feels like. That feeling bothers some people a lot, but it’s not something I think about a lot every day. It’s there in the back of my mind, but it doesn’t weigh too heavily on my daily thoughts because I know paying it off is doable. Once I have that degree and I can start putting my money towards that debt, sure it will feel great when the debt is gone, but for right now, I know it’s a bit far-fetched to leave undergrad, let alone veterinary school, with zero debt. School is very expensive right now, but I believe it’s for good reason. It will be worth it in the end to do something I love daily.

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