tara0709

Fear of Student Debt

6 posts in this topic

Hello everyone, I am new to the forum. I made an account because I'm just that desperate to get some advice on this subject. So basically, the situation is that recently, I have finally figured out my life's purpose and concocted a clear vision for it. To start with, I want to become an architect. To do that I need a professional degree on it and I don't want to just do that at any old college or university for architecture. I  want to go to a school with a program that resonates with me, with an atmosphere that I'll feel nurtured in, because I've come to understand recently that the environment of your daily life, the atmosphere you're submerged in on a day to day basis, is the primary factor in deciding your thoughts, emotions, and mentality. For this reason, I feel that I must go to this specific school to study architecture. But the problem is that the university is a private, international institution in Spain, so the experience of being there comes packaged with a mountain of study abroad costs. I live in the US, so yearly airfare costs, food costs, living costs, housing costs, supplies costs, and tuition are all going to factor in, along with storing my things over breaks. I estimate the total cost to be around $300,000 or more over 5 yrs. This monetary value truly embeds the fear of god in me, because I come from a lower middle class family. Only my father works in my family, and nearly every cent he brings in is utilized in financing our living costs. He doesn't really have more than dime or two to give for my education, no matter how much he wants to. I barely have a 1k left in my bank account. I know conceptually that there are lots of grants and scholarships out there for students to finance their education, but I dropped out of my last college due to boredom and disinterest over what I was studying, during a period of depression. I had picked a major over the monetary value in that career and failed miserably. It's safe to say that I don't have the best transcript from that college. But I have no student debt from there either because I got in with a full scholarship. This fact makes my fear of debt grow even stronger because I have none so far, never experienced it, and only keep hearing how student debt destroys people's lives all the time for their entire lifetime or at least most of it. But despite that, I want this school, I want the chances and experiences their program offers me more than anything right now. I am studying to retake the SAT/ACT and have enrolled in a community college to get my GPA up. 

So my question is what advice do you have for me? Have you ever studied abroad? If so, for how long, and how did you finance it. Do you know of any grants or scholarships, or any other kind of resource that would be useful for my situation. But most of all, do you know how I can overcome this fear or if I should even overcome it. Any advice at all from anyone would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance and sorry for any typos, I don't have time to review it. Have to get to class :D 

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I would definitelly check with the Spanish uni any scholarships they offer or packages for international students. You should follow your dreams but if it means possibly indebting your entire family, that needs to be thought through extremely well. 

I don't know anything about architecture but perhaps there are other ways for you to get into it? Have you considered other countries and other universities? For example universities in eastern (poland, ukraine) middle (slovakia, czech republic, hungary, Austria) and some other southern (romania, bulgaria, macedonia, albania, croatia...) Europe would definitely be cheaper and these countries are not bad for living either. They are also beautiful countries full of wonderful nature and mostly nice people. 

There may be courses you could start doing, seminars and communities you could join in US as well. Maybe you don't need a full university degree but a night college or weekend school could also be an option. These often offer instalment payments such as 200 per month or so. 

I'd just say make sure you explore other possibilities besides the most obvious ones. You can browse forum and youtube videos, I bet people talk about these things in any industry. 

 

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@tara0709 I agree with Michael. This may be a reasonable fear. Your anxiety is telling you that you are taking up a challenge way, way out of your comfort zone. It's good to get oneself uncomfortable a little, but this is a big risk. 

If you do finish your school, and find an average job in your field (architecture, right?), how long will it take you to repay your loans? Have you calculated the risk in real-world practical terms?

Reconsider your goals. Is this college the only option? If you feel like "yes", isn't it because you crave more the international environment it offers, then mastery in your field? Wouldn't it then be better to go for the environment you enjoy rather then a degree? (Can you take a less straight-forward, but more aligned path towards your life purpose?)

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I done heard there's some kick ass architecture schools in the U.S. How sure are you you need the spanish one? Maybe there's a school you'd like with a better environment.

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You can't buy your way into heaven.

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I don’t think that the environment is that important that I would spend that much money on it. The environment only influences you as much as you let it. I also can’t see why universities in the US would be that bad. If you’re so worried about the environment, you can study online where the only influence will be the environment you create. University studies are only few years, I don’t think it’s long enough to influence you in a major way. Maybe you’re worried that you might lose interest or won’t be able to pass the subjects if the environment is not right but it’s up to you how well you do and to keep yourself interested. If you need help with that you can pay for a good life coach or a therapist or a tutor, it still will be cheaper.


I have an opinion on everything :D

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