Growing up, I knew I wanted to go to college, but it scared the hell out of me. I have no idea why. I also didn’t know what I wanted to take.

Eventually, I was drawn to the Journalism program at a prestigious university. But when I found out I was becoming a father, I decided it was not the right time. I was told by my family that I would never go because I decided to wait. I get the theory, and part of me believed it. I ended up thinking that I would never go to college, and it hung over my head for years. My friends would talk about their education or what they were doing in school, and I was just working some minimum wage job. I would meet someone new and when they asked me what I did, I would have to offer up some pitiful answer. In the beginning, I actually convinced myself I didn’t need college. For some, that is absolutely true and that’s great. It just wasn’t my path in the end.

Something interesting happened. The other day, I got the statement for my student loans telling me how much I had to pay per month. It was a lot, but now I don’t feel embarrassed of myself.  I have always wanted to be somebody who had the problem of trying to pay down student debt (just as long as my education got me a career that could service the debt comfortably, and it did). And now I am and it feels great.

I’m writing this not to brag, but because it is a big deal for me and I wanted to celebrate a bit. My wife tells me I don’t celebrate things and I always tell her it’s because I would rather just keep working toward my goals and celebrate later. But she’s right in telling me it’s okay to celebrate the small victories, too, along the way. So, this is my little way of patting myself on the back.

How did you feel when you finished college? Did the debt load discourage you, or was it manageable?

If you haven’t gone to college, do you think you will in the future? Why, or why not?

Thanks for reading!