Saturday, March 31, 2012

The High Cost of Everything

My daughter wants to be a surgeon. She dreams of finding a cure for cancer. And you know what? She has the intelligence to do it. All she needs now is a college education.
I wanted to go to college right out of high school, so I applied to a local university, and got accepted. Without going into the reasons why, I wasn't able to go. Eventually, I met and married my wonderful husband, and we started a family, and life happened, and I never really got there. I have a couple credits from classes taken for my job, but not a real cohesive education.
My husband also never went to college. Life sort of got in the way for him as well.
Over the years we've toyed with going to school, part time, or quitting our jobs and going full time, but it has just never really happened.
So when our daughter began to show signs of wanting to go to college, we were thrilled. She has the brains, and the desire. But what she doesn't have is the money. I read recently that most doctors graduate from school with over $150,000 in student loans, and many of them are never able to fully repay those loans.
I've been told that it's possible to work your way through college, and to an extent I agree. But to be a doctor, there is a certain point where you have to devote all of your time to just learning.
The ideal would be for us as parents to be able to give her the money to finish her schooling at that point, but unless we win the lottery, that is never going to happen. If all of our bills were paid off and we had a years worth of food in the pantry and could devote every dollar of our earnings to her education, it still wouldn't be enough.
So while we worry about the cost of gas for our cars and the cost of groceries going up, and try to plan for retirement, and try to continue to buy everyday necessities, we also worry about giving our children the best possible future we can. Even though we know that probably means telling her to get a good job, save as much as possible, and hope for a good scholarship.
I hope her dreams hold out as long as ours have.

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