Work to pay off debt, or go to school to be happy?

 Ashley-Rae (@ashleyraee)8 years, 5 months ago

The easiest way to describe my situation is to say that I have been in debt for the last 6 years. I’m only 25 but with that being said, I’ve gone from $17,000 debt to just under $5000 debt in about 3 and a half years. It was all consumer debt that I got from accepting a line a credit from my bank when I was 19. I’m currently living with my boyfriend of 10 years and at the point where we want to buy a house within a year or two. He makes more money than I do but he has a bit more debt than me.

I’ve been making a decent living for the last 5 years as an insurance advisor and i recently landed a job with a very reputable company. But I’m not happy, I’ve never liked insurance. Slowly paying off my debt feels great but I’m not out of the hole just yet and I’ve just recently decided what it is that I want to do with my life, which is holistic nutrition. The job pays well and it’s only a 2 year program at a college in town. The program would run me about $30,000 in total and start dates are jan, may and sept.

At this point I’m seriously considering taking the September start date this year, which is only 5 months away, but I won’t be out of debt by then and I’m not sure that my employer will be open to keeping me as an employee only part time.

So here’s where I’m stuck. Do I go for it anyway, risk a job, with a great company and pay to pursue something I can’t stop thinking about doing? Or do I stay where I am for another year, suck up the fact that I’m unhappy to the point of anxiety (which sometimes even keeps me home from work) so that I can pay off the tiny debt I have left, perhaps get a little ahead and then start the program next year with more debt again?

I’m a very firm believer that life is about being happy and true to yourself. And that if you are not happy that you are not experiencing what life has to offer. I want to be the best me I can be but debt these days is a real issue.

I’m interested to hear if anyone has been in a similar type of situation as I am and how you went about making your decision.

Was it worth it? Are you happier, or more at peace with your being now? Is there anything you would do differently if you could go back?

April 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm
Ben (231)M (@benjamin) 8 years, 5 months ago ago

No matter what start learning about holistic nutrition right now! If you want to get good at something start working at it – you don’t need school to do that. I’m not saying don’t go to school, I’m in college for holistic psychology right now and I love it. But there are plenty of other things I’m studying outside my classes.

Go online, read books, reach out to people in the field and ask to learn from them. Perhaps see if you can part-time intern with someone for free. Regardless of when/if you go to school you’ll already be ahead of the game! I don’t want to pretend I know the best move as far as what to do this fall goes cause there are obviously alot of factors involved. I think no matter what you pick there’s definetely going to be some form of risk. But I think it’s fair to say that making an effort to educate yourself on this stuff as much as you possibly can will be a defineite step forward.
– This is the page of a really awesome holistic nutritionist that gave a presentation at one of the classes at my school. I’d bet that theyd help you out somehow if you can prove you’re proactive about learning this stuff. At least a place to start :D

E.C.F. Doyle (346) (@chekovchameleon) 8 years, 5 months ago ago

Suck it up for a year. It might be hard but It will feel better when you are debt free. Sure life is about following what makes you happy. But it is also about owning up to your responsibilities. Like let’s say your friend asked you to look after a dog while they are away, do you just say this dog doesn’t make me happy and leave it in a ditch until they get back? No, because it is not your dog and you said you’d look after it.
If you borrowed the money pay it back. Then do your course. You are still at the age where a year seems like a long time. When you are 40 you’ll be glad you waited and that year will just be a small collection of relevant memories.@ashleyraee,

Glenn (79) (@th3wand3r3r) 8 years, 5 months ago ago


the key in what he is saying, is to sing or dance or play in whatever situation you are in. So to summarize it, do whatever you wish. Don’t worry about the money because money never makes anyone happy. That doesn’t mean not to make money, but don’t make it a focus. Do what you love. As a result you’ll become an expert and in becoming an expert, you’ll be able to charge whatever you wish. Don’t take the bills too seriously because like you said you believe life to be about being happy and true to yourself. Everybody is in debt. My total debt is about 20k or more and I don’t worry one bit. If you wish to to be happy and true to yourself, search within and you’ll find the answer. Despite my current financial situation, I always find a way to smile. Everyone has their ups and downs but happiness is there waiting for you to see it. Play with life. Think of it as clay. You can mold it however you like when you start to see you’re in control and not the bills/debt, money, or the government. The adult world has nothing to offer. That’s why you can be rich and miserable. Look at life through a kid’s eyes and you’ll start to see the beauty in everything and how easy it’ll be to do whatever you set your sights on.

Ashley-Rae (0) (@ashleyraee) 8 years, 5 months ago ago

I agree with the idea of learning now even before the course starts. It’s a great idea for sure. I’ll take a look into it further and check out the link. I think I already know what to do, just nice to hear what people on the outside looking in have to say!

The debt issue isn’t my biggest worry, I’m just gonna rack it back up with student loans in a few months anyway. I think my main cause for being torn is the fact that I already have a decent paying job and employer, if they weren’t able to keep me on part time while in school I’d be even worse off financially in the end due to lack of agencies hiring at a decent start pay, part time to boot!

You’ve all given me a different perspective to view this and I appreciate you’re time and advice, thank you!

Glenn (79) (@th3wand3r3r) 8 years, 5 months ago ago

@ashleyraee, heres the link to the video i guess didnt embed in my reply. but you are very welcome and best of luck to you

Kosta (27) (@kosta33) 8 years, 5 months ago ago

do what ever feels right… if you feel like staying with that unhappy position for another year feels better in order to have a more secure life financially then do it. however, if money were not the issue what would you do? i think you should educate yourself the first semester through self eduction of ready/researching to test the waters while your still working and if it gets to the point where work is to much of a sacrifice, quit and pursue your holistic nutrition passion second semester (january). At least you’ll have more money too.

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