College can be such a great place of opportunities. Almost everyone I’d talked to while in high school said that college was the best time of their lives and that they wish they could go back. While I agree that college is great time, I never thought the financial burden would actually get in the way of my enjoyment as much as it does.

When I was budgeting (roughly) with my high school counselor, we were going over my financial aid package and deciding how to go about my finances as well as whether or not this would be the right choice for me. I was extremely determined to make this work and she was trying her absolute best to ensure I’d be able to make my dreams a reality. Given my circumstances, it was going to be very tight, but doable. I was just happy to hear that my plans worked out and that I’d be going to the school of my choice! However, I realized just how difficult and tight of a leash I’d be on trying to make everything work. With no wiggle room, I’ve had to come up with extra money, not only for my personal expenses and bills, but for left over university charges and books, supplies, and registration codes. While not impossible, it definitely is strenuous, exhausting, and stressful trying to make sure ends are met at all times. It even makes me regret my decision at times.

My biggest advice to seniors in high school: make sure that your finances are going to be stable and that you have some wiggle room in case of emergencies or unforeseen expenses. College should be a fun, exciting time of trying new things and learning about not only yourself, but about the world around you. Don’t let finances be a burden on this once in a lifetime experience.

Until next time.