I just finished paying off my loans and I found this thread very helpful over the past couple of years. I thought I'd add my info - I made a ton of mistakes along the way, so consider this an issue spotting activity
Graduated in 2012
Debt: ~$120,000, at ~7% govt rates, plus $9k at 3% from my law school (received some financial aid during law school)
Payments: $1400/month on the big debt; $150/month on the tiny debt
Income: Started at biglaw in secondary market at slightly below NYC market rate, topped out at $200k in 2016. No real bonuses.
Bank account had like, $10k in it when I started working (and that $10k was the extra money I took out in loans)
Initially, I focused on the small debt, and immediately started off paying a little extra each month on the smaller debt while I saved a 6-month emergency fund. After that was built up, I paid a little extra on both the big debt and little debt each month ($1700 or so on the big debt, $200 on the small debt). I paid off the small debt entirely in early 2014, and then focused on the big debt. Outside of maxing out my 401k and maintaining my emergency fund, I put any leftover funds each month into my loans - $1000 one month, $500 another, whatever I had, trying to keep my account balances the same at the end of each month. Biggest expenses other than loans were rent, food, and my dog. I also put any tax refund, small bonus, or retroactive salary increases on the loans.
I almost refinanced in 2015 with SoFi, but got scared of getting fired and not being able to use public interest loan forgiveness (despite no indications of a potential to get fired, or not be able to get another biglaw job if I did). My law school offers public interest loan forgiveness and allows refinanced loans to be covered as long as they're on a 10 year schedule, so really this choice made no sense. I finally pulled the trigger in Feb. 2016, and refinanced with SoFi on a 5 year, fixed interest plan with 3.99%. Didn't go with the variable rate because I make terrible choices and didn't think about the fact that I would be finished paying the loans off before there was any sort of meaningful rate hike. The loans were at $60k at that point. At the end of 2016, I owed less than $20k so I used some of my savings to pay it off.