Going through the process of paying off my student loans was probably one of the most challenging things I’ve done mentally. I felt like I was climbing a mountain that I was never going to reach the top because the peak kept moving further and further away.
On one of my down days, and needing a little motivational pick-me-up, I was talking to my friend Rebecca about some of my frustrations. She shared this analogy how I need to look back at the truck. Just like when we set off on a hike in the mountains, we can look back and see the truck we parked at the bottom. The more we continue on our hike, as we look back, the smaller and smaller the truck becomes to be. Even though we haven’t reached the top and probably have a long ways to go, we can gauge how far we’ve traveled by looking back at the truck.
Looking back was probably one of the greatest sources of motivation, humility, and gratitude I had. It not only helps you appreciate how far you’ve come, but causes you to realize just how much you’ve learned along the way too.
So, when Rebecca asked me after I paid off my loans if I would have done things differently… meaning, would I have avoided my taking out student loans to begin with… I said, “No.”
After having reached the top of my mountain, to have that accomplishment, then to say I never wished I went through that seems to discredit everything I learned along the way. Without student loans, I could have never afforded my college education and I never would have had the life lessons taught to me of budgeting and money management. I don’t know when, or where, or how I would have learned the things I did if weren’t for those dream crushing loans.
I have no regrets for taking out student loans – my only disappointment is that they slowed me down. But, like rush hour traffic, things eventually break free and we can start cruising at normal speeds.
P.S. – Rebecca’s analogy was borrowed from a book called, ‘Making It Through The Middle.’
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