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How did you deal with learning difficult material?

When I was younger I wanted to be an Anesthesiologist and part of me still does but this seems unrealistic for me. With no support/ lack of resources it´s hard to pay for school, care for myself and stay motivated especially when the end seems so far. doctor healthcare medicine Anesthesiologist college finance

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Aaron’s Answer

Hi Zaria, I'm sorry to hear this! I'm not sure what grade you're in but the first thing I can say is you're younger than you think. I've been in university classes where people were finally fulfilling their dream of getting a degree even though they graduated high school 10 or 15 years ago or even 40 years ago. Truthfully, if it's what you really want, then you can do it. Sometimes people will be able to jump straight into their dreams. The stars align just right sometimes, but most often we have to take the long path to our goals :)

I didn't have any support either. I took out school loans, took my first credit card out my first day of college, and did my best to make it through. I didn't have the grades going into it to have any scholarship at a university. If I could have done something different this is what I would have done (I hope this helps, truly)

1) Learn more about finances (budgeting, self reliance, forecasting). It wasn't until my junior year of college that I finally made an excel sheet to calculate how long it would take me to pay off my loans. I was simply just scared of finding out because it seemed hopeless. I wish I had done it sooner! It wasn't until I did this that I finally realized how much harder I had made my life. I was constantly cutting costs on my groceries, having fun, etc. You'll find that it's easier than you think to create a timeline that is both comfortable and manageable to pay things and still have a little extra money. You'll be able to prioritize where you want to spend your money instead of wasting your money on random things then not having enough to actually have fun. I now always have an excel sheet where I track my money coming in, my projected taxes, month to month savings projects, and these numbers keep me grounded so things don't get away from me. I'm not even a penny pincher. You would think I am. Most people probably think I don't budget because I probably pay for the group more often than not. Instead, it's because I know exactly what I'm doing.

2)I wouldn't have been in such a rush to jump straight into school and probably would have worked for a couple years and built some experience/explored different jobs. I wanted to jump straight to the big money making dollars that are touted come with a degree or some sort of education. Sometimes I think I could have saved myself a lot of grief not having to pay school loans. It was annoying to finally get the job I wanted but then just watch all my money go to school loans. I powered through them for 4 years and my car loan since I had no car going into college and I got one my sophomore year of college.

Now I look back though and remember when I also thought...how do people somehow make enough money to have a house, pay bills, buy food and somehow go on vacation? I've been there but now I do it with my wife and kid. The number one thing though comes back to financial education for me. Most people don't actually understand how to budget, how to create excel sheets that will tell exactly how much you'll have in 5 months or 5 years if you do x,y,z. This was my secret weapon. You start making decisions that other people don't understand because you won't be chasing grass that looks "greener on the other side." You'll learn to just make decisions based on what you know will actually benefit you, and give up opportunities that look awesome but when you crunch the numbers you realize aren't worth it. Taxes too. I don't do finances or taxes as my career but I'm actually taking a Tax assessment to eventually become a CPA just because I can. I know every year exactly how my taxes are going to break down, how to minimize my taxes, etc. I'm always improving how I can use my money accordingly. I've come that far since my junior year of college. If you are in complete control of your money and understand what's happening to it...then the other stuff is just for fun. You can be an Anesthesiologist or a Geologist, or tax preper, cookie baker at the farmers market etc. Either way, money is money. It's not how you got it (obviously remaining in the law). It's what you do with it.

Aaron recommends the following next steps:

Make an excel sheet that projects inflow of cash across three years month to month
Calculate the tax year to year for these years based on that amount
Subtract bills, expenses, utilities (get an idea from friends and family)
If you're in the red, start making goals to figure out how to make up the difference
Thank you so much Zaria T.
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Naomi’s Answer

I started at a 4 year university when I graduated high school. Now looking back I wish I would've gone to a community college to get my associates degree. I paid for school by taking out loans and received grants. Definitely check into financial aid. You might be eligible for scholarships, grants or loans. While it might seem overwhelming, remember this is an investment in yourself if you truly want to go be an Anesthesiologist. If there are doubts, I recommend taking some online tests for personality and skills assessment. You might find that another type of training or certification fits better for what you find your skills align to. Also if a goal seems overwhelming, try to break it into smaller goals then re-evaluate to see if anything has changed after you've met the smaller milestones.

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Shannon’s Answer

If you have a goal and consistently work hard towards it, things will work out! It may not lead you to where you thought you wanted to be, but you may find a new passion or career path along your journey. Set your goals, stay true to your values, work hard, and trust the path! It's also super important to focus on yourself, and not compare your journey to someone else's - whether that's a career path, or absorbing and learning information at your own speed. Everyone's education + career path looks different.
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Angelina’s Answer

- Get into a routine and spend time revisiting your goal every week/month. Consistency is key. People learn and grow at a different rate.

- Break down your big goal into smaller and manageable steps.

- Reach out to support systems and ask for help (such as teachers, counselors, mentors, financial aid, and resource groups). Find space you are comfortable with and share your stories and listen to others

- 80% of something is better than 100% of nothing. Giving it a try is better than not doing anything at all.

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Angelina recommends the following next steps:

Reach out to support groups
Break out your goal into smaller steps
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Caroline’s Answer

Hi! I’m so sorry to hear this. First I want to say props to you for still wanting to live out your dream job. Second there are some things you can do.

Look into financial plans and apply for scholarships and grants
Some volunteer or work places in college will pay for some of your school
You can be a resident assistant to get free room and board
You can make money as a TA while also getting good experience on your resume
Some programs offer partial scholarships or you can look into ones that will help you pay off your loans over time

More than all of this reach out to your schools financial aid program and get more guidance!

Good luck!!!!
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