Each semester I get a stark reminder of what going back to school later in life really costs.
Having depleted most of my loan funds from the previous semester, I wait anxiously for the next influx of borrowed dollars. Unlike many of my younger classmates, I am not eligible for TOPS scholarships or even Pell Grants, having already completed one degree. So every dollar I use to pay tuition, purchase books, pay bills and eat comes from either my student job (with limited hours) or from a loan.
I set out on this path knowing this would be the case, but as dismal as paying back all of this money may seem, it serves as a powerful impetus to work hard, spend my time carefully and appreciate everything I have the opportunity to learn. Though the pressure to succeed is immeasurable, the opportunity to continue learning is priceless.