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You go to college hopefully with an idea of what you want to commit to for your working life. You complete your classes with the goal of a high GPA and retaining the information professors try to share. When it's all over, you walk across a stage and take a blank piece of paper rolled up nice from a strange "doctor." Your actual degree will be mailed in a couple of months.
Now it's time to find a job and figure out how to adult- if you haven't already. Let's admit that most of us that go to a university have some major cushions to the adult world- meals and on-campus housing where you're not responsible for those charges (not yet anyway). College eats you up and spits you out on the other side where bills are inevitable. Your apartment, renters/homeowners insurance, car payment, car insurance, water bill, sewer bill, the electric bill, cell phone and those lovely college loans where you regret every on-campus meal and obscene housing charge- do I need to continue on? Up until now, most of us have lived under our parents' roof responsible for maybe our own car insurance and cell phone bill. Adult-ing looked a lot easier from that side.
Here I am, less than a week away from my second year teaching. I can't help but think how I wasn't prepared for what adult-ing is. Why didn't I know how many bills an actual household takes? Why am I just learning how to maneuver insurance companies and find the lowest APR rates on loans? Why haven't I thought deeply about my life purpose outside of the title on my degree?
It was downloaded into my blood that if I got good grades, I would get into a good college. If I got good grades in college, I would get a degree. If I got a degree, I would get a job high above the average pay-grade in comparison to someone who did not go to college. And finally, when I got that job, I would make enough money to support myself and contribute to a household or family. Now, I am not in denial that teachers don't make much regardless, but for some reason, I am $30,000 in debt, my parents have debt and I am not cutting it in this adult world. Why did I pay the same tuition rate for a degree that will earn me less money in a lifetime than others? For instance, a business major may earn six figures a year yet I paid the same amount to get a degree with a different title on it to earn barely 50k.
Times have changed. A degree isn't enough anymore. Loving what you do, as it pains me to say, might not be enough anymore to survive in this money-driven world. In order to keep doing what I love, I am looking for side hustles to make up the money I could've made had I chosen a different field.
Stay in tune with the world we live in. Educate your children on the ins and outs. I was taught financial literacy by my parents but was not prepared for the number of bills the real world had out for me. I had been blind to life out of college- life out of my parents' household. Take their advice, study on your own and take your time because adult-ing isn't all its cracked up to be.