How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
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Olive
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How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby Olive » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:38 pm

The situation is that I keep running away from law school for a few reasons, but mostly because of the debt part.

I got into UT, am a TX resident, got a scholarship for 28,000 total for three years. But that still puts me around $100,00 in debt. I have about $18,000 in savings, nothing tying me down, am 22. I want to go to law school and I want to do public interest law. I love to travel and have been doing it for two years and I want to find a way to blend that with law. I get excited about UT, the programs, being a lawyer, etc. But the reality of the debt really scares me, making me think I will be forced to take a job I'm not excited about and get stuck somewhere, giving up some of my dreams, having little flexibility, not being able to travel, do what I want, etc.

How rational are these thoughts? I want to go to law school but I can seem to overcome this fear of debt and it seems paralyzing now. I would love to go to law school with a free ride but I can't get excited about many of the schools I qualify for a free ride. I have a 169/4.0..

Thoughts appreciated.
Last edited by Olive on Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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smaug_
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby smaug_ » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:54 pm

Even though it is cliched advice around here, have you thought about a retake? You have a 4.0; the only thing that is limiting you is your LSAT. You're young enough that you could postpone for a year, dedicate some serious time to the LSAT and avoid more debt. Retaking seems like the easiest solution here.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:57 pm

Are you sure you want to be a lawyer?

The legal field is more restricting geographically (and thereby limiting travel) than any other profession, if for no other reason than the bar examination (although there are other reasons - personal connections, network, client base, etc.). If travel is a big issue, you should consider a different profession first, and if that doesn't work, go to school for free - if for some reason you don't want to do that, no one can help you.

If you take out $100K for your degree, you will be paying back around $700 a month on a 25 year repayment plan or about $500 more a month on a 10 year plan. That's serious debt repayment. If debt is your concern, you really should target schools that would give you a full ride, not matter how unglamorous they are.

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justonemoregame
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby justonemoregame » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:59 pm

Taking some time off before law school could be a great idea. Not saying you're not "ready" - for all I know, you could go to UT and kill it, but you're 22 and have plenty of time to travel/work and gain some perspective. Where have you traveled for the past 2 years? Any opportunities to work?

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IAFG
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby IAFG » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:06 pm

It's true, law isn't much of a career for traveling. And PI is far less likely to involve extensive travel. I would be looking at things like consulting, or project management for a large corporation. And possibly MBA programs (MBAs do end up in the nonprofit world too). I know you're asking about debt, but I don't think that's going to be what limits your freedom. It's this career path.

I will add though, and I know you don't want to hear it, but it's a really common thing to have wanderlust in your early 20s and for that burning desire to abate. Which makes me encourage you all the more to look at getting a travel-intensive job for a few years and re-access.

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rayiner
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby rayiner » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:13 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:Are you sure you want to be a lawyer?

The legal field is more restricting geographically (and thereby limiting travel) than any other profession, if for no other reason than the bar examination (although there are other reasons - personal connections, network, client base, etc.). If travel is a big issue, you should consider a different profession first, and if that doesn't work, go to school for free - if for some reason you don't want to do that, no one can help you.

If you take out $100K for your degree, you will be paying back around $700 a month on a 25 year repayment plan or about $500 more a month on a 10 year plan. That's serious debt repayment. If debt is your concern, you really should target schools that would give you a full ride, not matter how unglamorous they are.


Academia is even more restrictive. At least with law you get to choose where you take the bar. In academia, if you get a tenure-track position in Montana, well you're moving to Montana.

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dingbat
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby dingbat » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:14 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:Are you sure you want to be a lawyer?

The legal field is more restricting geographically (and thereby limiting travel) than any other profession, if for no other reason than the bar examination (although there are other reasons - personal connections, network, client base, etc.). If travel is a big issue, you should consider a different profession first, and if that doesn't work, go to school for free - if for some reason you don't want to do that, no one can help you.

If you take out $100K for your degree, you will be paying back around $700 a month on a 25 year repayment plan or about $500 more a month on a 10 year plan. That's serious debt repayment. If debt is your concern, you really should target schools that would give you a full ride, not matter how unglamorous they are.

Your math is wrong. Assuming $60k at 6.8% and $40k at 7.8%, repayment would be $732 per month over 25 years and $1,182 per month over 10 years.
This may be reduced, eg by consolidating with a reduction, but the impact is not that big on a month-to-month basis (a .5% reduction in the interest rate saves about $26 per month over 10 years)
How limiting this is is open to debate, with IBR, LRAP, etc.
(as well as individual opportunities and lifestyle preferences)

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rayiner
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby rayiner » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:18 pm

IAFG wrote:It's true, law isn't much of a career for traveling. And PI is far less likely to involve extensive travel. I would be looking at things like consulting, or project management for a large corporation. And possibly MBA programs (MBAs do end up in the nonprofit world too). I know you're asking about debt, but I don't think that's going to be what limits your freedom. It's this career path.

I will add though, and I know you don't want to hear it, but it's a really common thing to have wanderlust in your early 20s and for that burning desire to abate. Which makes me encourage you all the more to look at getting a travel-intensive job for a few years and re-access.


Also this. You're worried about the debt tying you down because you're young and you think there are wonderful things out there in the world to see and explore. This feeling will eventually pass.

Don't go to law school right now. Enjoy childhood for awhile longer. Eventually the possibilities in your life will contract, you'll realize that you're no different than your parents or for that matter anyone else that has ever lived. You'll realize you're not destined to do great things and that like everyone else the only lasting impact you'll ever have on the world is the couple of kids you'll pop out.

Once you realize that, you'll be ready for law school.

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IAFG
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby IAFG » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:23 pm

rayiner wrote:
IAFG wrote:It's true, law isn't much of a career for traveling. And PI is far less likely to involve extensive travel. I would be looking at things like consulting, or project management for a large corporation. And possibly MBA programs (MBAs do end up in the nonprofit world too). I know you're asking about debt, but I don't think that's going to be what limits your freedom. It's this career path.

I will add though, and I know you don't want to hear it, but it's a really common thing to have wanderlust in your early 20s and for that burning desire to abate. Which makes me encourage you all the more to look at getting a travel-intensive job for a few years and re-access.


Also this. You're worried about the debt tying you down because you're young and you think there are wonderful things out there in the world to see and explore. This feeling will eventually pass.

Don't go to law school right now. Enjoy childhood for awhile longer. Eventually the possibilities in your life will contract, you'll realize that you're no different than your parents or for that matter anyone else that has ever lived. You'll realize you're not destined to do great things and that like everyone else the only lasting impact you'll ever have on the world is the couple of kids you'll pop out.

Once you realize that, you'll be ready for law school.
Too true, too true.

Excuse me while I go blow my brains out.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:39 pm

dingbat wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:Are you sure you want to be a lawyer?

The legal field is more restricting geographically (and thereby limiting travel) than any other profession, if for no other reason than the bar examination (although there are other reasons - personal connections, network, client base, etc.). If travel is a big issue, you should consider a different profession first, and if that doesn't work, go to school for free - if for some reason you don't want to do that, no one can help you.

If you take out $100K for your degree, you will be paying back around $700 a month on a 25 year repayment plan or about $500 more a month on a 10 year plan. That's serious debt repayment. If debt is your concern, you really should target schools that would give you a full ride, not matter how unglamorous they are.

Your math is wrong. Assuming $60k at 6.8% and $40k at 7.8%, repayment would be $732 per month over 25 years and $1,182 per month over 10 years.
This may be reduced, eg by consolidating with a reduction, but the impact is not that big on a month-to-month basis (a .5% reduction in the interest rate saves about $26 per month over 10 years)
How limiting this is is open to debate, with IBR, LRAP, etc.
(as well as individual opportunities and lifestyle preferences)


How is my math "wrong"? I used the qualifiers "around" and "about" when I gave my numbers. Now that you've done the math, my qualified numbers were correct bro.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:41 pm

Academia is even more restrictive. At least with law you get to choose where you take the bar. In academia, if you get a tenure-track position in Montana, well you're moving to Montana.[/quote]

My statement was more geared towards general areas of study (law, engineering, medicine, business, etc.) as opposed to occupational preferences (private practice, academia, public interest, government, etc.)

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dingbat
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby dingbat » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:
dingbat wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:Are you sure you want to be a lawyer?

The legal field is more restricting geographically (and thereby limiting travel) than any other profession, if for no other reason than the bar examination (although there are other reasons - personal connections, network, client base, etc.). If travel is a big issue, you should consider a different profession first, and if that doesn't work, go to school for free - if for some reason you don't want to do that, no one can help you.

If you take out $100K for your degree, you will be paying back around $700 a month on a 25 year repayment plan or about $500 more a month on a 10 year plan. That's serious debt repayment. If debt is your concern, you really should target schools that would give you a full ride, not matter how unglamorous they are.

Your math is wrong. Assuming $60k at 6.8% and $40k at 7.8%, repayment would be $732 per month over 25 years and $1,182 per month over 10 years.
This may be reduced, eg by consolidating with a reduction, but the impact is not that big on a month-to-month basis (a .5% reduction in the interest rate saves about $26 per month over 10 years)
How limiting this is is open to debate, with IBR, LRAP, etc.
(as well as individual opportunities and lifestyle preferences)


How is my math "wrong"? I used the qualifiers "around" and "about" when I gave my numbers. Now that you've done the math, my qualified numbers were correct bro.

Sorry, I misread 500 for a ten year plan, not "500 more"
My apologies, you are correct :oops:

TheZoid
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby TheZoid » Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:17 pm

rayiner wrote:Also this. You're worried about the debt tying you down because you're young and you think there are wonderful things out there in the world to see and explore. This feeling will eventually pass.

Don't go to law school right now. Enjoy childhood (young adulthood?) for awhile longer. Eventually the possibilities in your life will contract, you'll realize that you're no different than your parents or for that matter anyone else that has ever lived. You'll realize you're not destined to do great things and that like everyone else the only lasting impact you'll ever have on the world is the couple of kids you'll pop out.

Once you realize that, you'll be ready for law school.


Rayiner, I enjoy your input and the knowledge you share on this board, but damn, bro, that shit is a little harsh. I guess that's why they call it youthful optimism, eh?

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rayiner
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby rayiner » Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:22 pm

TheZoid wrote:
rayiner wrote:Also this. You're worried about the debt tying you down because you're young and you think there are wonderful things out there in the world to see and explore. This feeling will eventually pass.

Don't go to law school right now. Enjoy childhood (young adulthood?) for awhile longer. Eventually the possibilities in your life will contract, you'll realize that you're no different than your parents or for that matter anyone else that has ever lived. You'll realize you're not destined to do great things and that like everyone else the only lasting impact you'll ever have on the world is the couple of kids you'll pop out.

Once you realize that, you'll be ready for law school.


Rayiner, I enjoy your input and the knowledge you share on this board, but damn, bro, that shit is a little harsh. I guess that's why they call it youthful optimism, eh?


I'm just teasing the young'un pre-0L's.

Jredelman15
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby Jredelman15 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:26 pm

How would you be in 100k worth of debt after school? I just looked on UT website and COA was 50k for in-state. So that would be 150k for 3 years. You said you had a 28k scholarship per year which brings your COA down to 22k per year. That adds up to 66k for 3 years. Live frugally. Though it sounds like you would rather travel and then come back to school when you are more settled.

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Samara
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby Samara » Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:38 pm

rayiner wrote:
IAFG wrote:It's true, law isn't much of a career for traveling. And PI is far less likely to involve extensive travel. I would be looking at things like consulting, or project management for a large corporation. And possibly MBA programs (MBAs do end up in the nonprofit world too). I know you're asking about debt, but I don't think that's going to be what limits your freedom. It's this career path.

I will add though, and I know you don't want to hear it, but it's a really common thing to have wanderlust in your early 20s and for that burning desire to abate. Which makes me encourage you all the more to look at getting a travel-intensive job for a few years and re-access.


Also this. You're worried about the debt tying you down because you're young and you think there are wonderful things out there in the world to see and explore. This feeling will eventually pass.

Don't go to law school right now. Enjoy childhood for awhile longer. Eventually the possibilities in your life will contract, you'll realize that you're no different than your parents or for that matter anyone else that has ever lived. You'll realize you're not destined to do great things and that like everyone else the only lasting impact you'll ever have on the world is the couple of kids you'll pop out.

Once you realize that, you'll be ready for law school.

:shock: :arrow: :lol: :lol: :lol: :arrow: :(

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Olive
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby Olive » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:24 pm

Jredelman15 wrote:How would you be in 100k worth of debt after school? I just looked on UT website and COA was 50k for in-state. So that would be 150k for 3 years. You said you had a 28k scholarship per year which brings your COA down to 22k per year. That adds up to 66k for 3 years. Live frugally. Though it sounds like you would rather travel and then come back to school when you are more settled.



Oops I typed it wrong. 28000 over three years. I wish it was 28000 per year!

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Olive
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby Olive » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:35 pm

rayiner wrote:
TheZoid wrote:
rayiner wrote:Also this. You're worried about the debt tying you down because you're young and you think there are wonderful things out there in the world to see and explore. This feeling will eventually pass.

Don't go to law school right now. Enjoy childhood (young adulthood?) for awhile longer. Eventually the possibilities in your life will contract, you'll realize that you're no different than your parents or for that matter anyone else that has ever lived. You'll realize you're not destined to do great things and that like everyone else the only lasting impact you'll ever have on the world is the couple of kids you'll pop out.

Once you realize that, you'll be ready for law school.


Rayiner, I enjoy your input and the knowledge you share on this board, but damn, bro, that shit is a little harsh. I guess that's why they call it youthful optimism, eh?


I'm just teasing the young'un pre-0L's.


I don't think I'm going to save the world. I don't think I'm going to live an exotic life. I have no grand illusions about jetting around the world and working with fancy international institutions.

I think to some extent you're right in your opinion. I think it's hard but not impossible for some people succeeding in getting something different. It's not like there are only two parts of the spectrum - humdrum life, reality and silly people chasing after fairytales. I just want a little bit different life than what a lot of people are okay with. That's not saying that what you or they want is bad - just that I've valued freedom and exploring more than I have other things and I'm wondering and trying to think realistically about a way to blend my interest in law with that way of living.

I do agree that I should travel more and I am not enrolling this year and taking at least a year off.

My real fear is that in a year or two if I will be back in this same position, fearing law school because of the debt and making a wrong decision because maybe my idea of the debt being overwhelming is wrong. My reason for going to law school is to do public interest law and I realize there are a lot of programs that help with repayment. I'm also trying to look at my options with going to school for free vs good programs. I love UT, love the city, the programs, etc.

Retake is an options though I have retaken three times. 167, cancel, 169. I will toy with that idea, as painful as it seems..

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Olive
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby Olive » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:55 pm

justonemoregame wrote:Taking some time off before law school could be a great idea. Not saying you're not "ready" - for all I know, you could go to UT and kill it, but you're 22 and have plenty of time to travel/work and gain some perspective. Where have you traveled for the past 2 years? Any opportunities to work?


Western Europe and Eurasia.

My work interest is with NGOs/non-profits and I've been doing things in that realm and have opportunities for more work abroad, but I can't help thinking that with an advanced degree I could be doing more and I know that in a year or two that feeling will grow even more. I do really love law and I do want to settle in the States eventually. So it's this conflict between freedom/flexibility but hitting a wall professionally/academically.

The real issue I'm trying to get over is whether debt is really that chaining or restricting or am I just dramatizing it too much?

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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby spleenworship » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:05 pm

rayiner wrote:
Also this. You're worried about the debt tying you down because you're young and you think there are wonderful things out there in the world to see and explore. This feeling will eventually pass.

Don't go to law school right now. Enjoy childhood for awhile longer. Eventually the possibilities in your life will contract, you'll realize that you're no different than your parents or for that matter anyone else that has ever lived. You'll realize you're not destined to do great things and that like everyone else the only lasting impact you'll ever have on the world is the couple of kids you'll pop out.

Once you realize that, you'll be ready for law school.


One of the most truthful, honest, and beautiful posts I have ever read.

I'm gonna go drink now.

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IAFG
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby IAFG » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:22 pm

Olive wrote:
justonemoregame wrote:Taking some time off before law school could be a great idea. Not saying you're not "ready" - for all I know, you could go to UT and kill it, but you're 22 and have plenty of time to travel/work and gain some perspective. Where have you traveled for the past 2 years? Any opportunities to work?


Western Europe and Eurasia.

My work interest is with NGOs/non-profits and I've been doing things in that realm and have opportunities for more work abroad, but I can't help thinking that with an advanced degree I could be doing more and I know that in a year or two that feeling will grow even more. I do really love law and I do want to settle in the States eventually. So it's this conflict between freedom/flexibility but hitting a wall professionally/academically.

The real issue I'm trying to get over is whether debt is really that chaining or restricting or am I just dramatizing it too much?

Sweetheart, I just don't understand why you are putting pressure on yourself to know the answer to this shit right now. Trust your future self to be able to assess the costs and benefits when the time to decide rolls around. And remember that you are living your life now and that life doesn't begin after the next degree.

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justonemoregame
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby justonemoregame » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:36 pm

Yeah, at 32, and beginning law school this fall, I can tell you there is time. I would probably keep traveling if I were you. Law school will be there later. If you're ready to settle in the states after, then your career's inflexibility will be moot.

And you should have good options financially with your stats.

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Olive
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby Olive » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:28 pm

IAFG wrote:
Olive wrote:
justonemoregame wrote:Taking some time off before law school could be a great idea. Not saying you're not "ready" - for all I know, you could go to UT and kill it, but you're 22 and have plenty of time to travel/work and gain some perspective. Where have you traveled for the past 2 years? Any opportunities to work?


Western Europe and Eurasia.

My work interest is with NGOs/non-profits and I've been doing things in that realm and have opportunities for more work abroad, but I can't help thinking that with an advanced degree I could be doing more and I know that in a year or two that feeling will grow even more. I do really love law and I do want to settle in the States eventually. So it's this conflict between freedom/flexibility but hitting a wall professionally/academically.

The real issue I'm trying to get over is whether debt is really that chaining or restricting or am I just dramatizing it too much?

Sweetheart, I just don't understand why you are putting pressure on yourself to know the answer to this shit right now. Trust your future self to be able to assess the costs and benefits when the time to decide rolls around. And remember that you are living your life now and that life doesn't begin after the next degree.


True, I need to relax a bit about this. But I know I'd like to start law school in the next couple of years and I want to have some perspective on the debt part..more facts I guess...if I really should retake (oh god..), look at different schools, or....?

I thought I was ready for law school this time around and it turns out I wasn't. I just don't want this same scenario to play out again in a few years and considering you have to apply a year before you start it feels like I'll be reapplying before I know it.

Which makes me want to vomit.

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RedBirds2011
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby RedBirds2011 » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:14 am

spleenworship wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Also this. You're worried about the debt tying you down because you're young and you think there are wonderful things out there in the world to see and explore. This feeling will eventually pass.

Don't go to law school right now. Enjoy childhood for awhile longer. Eventually the possibilities in your life will contract, you'll realize that you're no different than your parents or for that matter anyone else that has ever lived. You'll realize you're not destined to do great things and that like everyone else the only lasting impact you'll ever have on the world is the couple of kids you'll pop out.

Once you realize that, you'll be ready for law school.


One of the most truthful, honest, and beautiful posts I have ever read.

I'm gonna go drink now.




Very good post. But why is everyone depressed about it? Lol whats so depressing about just being another average dude/gal going through life? I guess i just never caught the "going to change the world" bug lol

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Samara
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Re: How Limiting/Dooming is Debt?

Postby Samara » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:47 am

Olive wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Olive wrote:
justonemoregame wrote:Taking some time off before law school could be a great idea. Not saying you're not "ready" - for all I know, you could go to UT and kill it, but you're 22 and have plenty of time to travel/work and gain some perspective. Where have you traveled for the past 2 years? Any opportunities to work?


Western Europe and Eurasia.

My work interest is with NGOs/non-profits and I've been doing things in that realm and have opportunities for more work abroad, but I can't help thinking that with an advanced degree I could be doing more and I know that in a year or two that feeling will grow even more. I do really love law and I do want to settle in the States eventually. So it's this conflict between freedom/flexibility but hitting a wall professionally/academically.

The real issue I'm trying to get over is whether debt is really that chaining or restricting or am I just dramatizing it too much?

Sweetheart, I just don't understand why you are putting pressure on yourself to know the answer to this shit right now. Trust your future self to be able to assess the costs and benefits when the time to decide rolls around. And remember that you are living your life now and that life doesn't begin after the next degree.


True, I need to relax a bit about this. But I know I'd like to start law school in the next couple of years and I want to have some perspective on the debt part..more facts I guess...if I really should retake (oh god..), look at different schools, or....?

I thought I was ready for law school this time around and it turns out I wasn't. I just don't want this same scenario to play out again in a few years and considering you have to apply a year before you start it feels like I'll be reapplying before I know it.

Which makes me want to vomit.

Then maybe law school isn't for you?




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