Living on loans already?

I’m at a major crossroads with school. It’s no longer feasible to take courses at night or just one lab course mixed in with some other non-science class. I’m working on my Bachelors, so I’m not a Post Bacc. I just can’t figure out a way to work my “9-5” job around anymore than I already have to accomodate school. I’ve been fortunate enough thus far to have an employer willing to work with me, but I’ve still put in technically full time work though less than 40hr/week. With Chem and Bio this fall, I don’t see that I can work this much and I don’t want to overextend myself. I have a soon to be three year old daughter, too. So, it looks like I may be nearly, though not completely, living on loans! Ugh. Anyone else in a similar boat or previously in one? I don’t know how else to make this work. I have some grant money, but it’s not enough. Should I just say the heck with it and jump in? This is my life’s passion afterall and I know I can do this (I already am), but I am supposed to be a responsible adult and mother, too. What to do? What to do? Kill myself at work and potentially ruin my gpa or cut way back on work and give myself as much breathing room as I can? I know med school is going to be tough and I will have to make sacrifices of time for a long time coming, but is it worth it now to work over 30 hours, be a mom, and take 10 credits of chem and bio? It may look good to med schools showing I can “do it all” but I’m already burning the candle at both ends and doing it well, but for how long?; I don’t want to fry myself in the process.

You haven’t said how much longer you have on your Bachelor’s degree. There is no need for you to do a post-bacc obviously, if you are getting what you need in your bachelor’s program, but if it was, say, 3 years to go, that’s a bit different. I did decide to borrow money to live on for my post-bacc (off home-equity loan). IMHO, you should borrow however much you need to in order to have sufficient time to do well in the courses. If you don’t do well, it is all for naught - if you do excell, it is a good investment.


Thanks, Kate. I do have less than 3 years left at my current pace, but could be less if I am able to really reduce work hours, but even so I would rather stick to my plan of getting my Bachelors by Spring 2014. If all goes as planned I want to start med school in 2014 which is really not that far away! Yikes on that.

I agree, I should think of it as an investment in my future. I have proven to myself and others that I can pull down a 4.0 while going through a rough divorce, working 40 hours initially and taking care of my young daughter. Now, my daughter is a toddler, I still have a good gpa (3.9) and am still working, but something has got to give soon and I am not going to put school, or even part of school, on hold. I thought about just taking Chem in fall and continue to do 30 plus hours at work, but why? My favorite professor (who may be close to retirement) is teaching a Bio class in fall that I both need and want to take so now is the time. I think I know what I want and have to do. It’s super important to do well and I have to admit that to do that I will have to cut back on working at my demanding job and focus on my real passion. It’s tough to admit that, though. I am so independent and so proud of all I’ve juggled that it is difficult to say, “You know what, I have to cut back somewhere.” So be it if that requires more loans (I still have plenty from my twenties that did not get me a degree, but have helped meet my gen ed reqs at least). It is tough all over, but I keep telling myself this is my dream and life is too short to not go for it. I don’t want to regret not having gone through with this dream for the sake of money.

  • shanport7300 Said:
but even so I would rather stick to my plan of getting my Bachelors by Spring 2014. If all goes as planned I want to start med school in 2014 which is really not that far away!

Um... it sounds like you have exactly 3 more years of school, if you get loans to cover everything. As a consultant I made enough money to pay my share of the bills, and still got half grants, half loans. We lived pretty frugally the past five years to accomplish that. Now I have a big, fat chunk of debt just from using those loans/grants for tuition and books and various school supplies. I didn't use it to pay for rent or food until I completely quit working in December 2010.

Not to burst your bubble, but it seems like you'd be borrowing massive sums of money just to stick to a self-imposed deadline. I'd definitely crunch the numbers and consider how lean a life you can live, whether that is compatible with the life you want for your daughter, and what your total debt would be compared to a slightly longer route.

Good luck, and stay positive!