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My One Year Student Loan Payoff Update

  January 28, 2022 marked my one year anniversary of paying off my student loans . Reflecting back on choosing to pay off my student loans leaves me with several take a ways that I want to share with you! In September 2020 I decided to become debt free by utilizing the debt snowball method to pay off all my debt. Before this I had struggled to save and really understand basic financial principles. As a first-generation college student, I received a scholarship to attend undergrad for free, but the scholarship did not cover summers. During the summers I took out student loans to cover costs without paying interest rates or how much I was taking out. By the end of undergrad I had amassed a little under $17K. Fast forward to graduate school I received another scholarship that covered my education. At the time I was a teacher in a new very expensive city and I had missed the cutoff to have my paycheck last me throughout the summer. So, I decided to take out a loan for two summers to keep

How Did My Fall 2021 Semester End?

Another semester has come to an end, and I am more than excited to have a little rest. If you don’t know I am a second year Higher Education doctoral student. My program is entirely online, and I typically take two courses a semester. This semester I took a Law in Higher Education course and a Qualitative Research course.

Figure 1: This is a photo of my YouTube thumbnail for my latest video "How Did My Fall 2021 Semester End?" where I am smiling at the camera with my hand under my chin. My hair is short black and curly, and I am wearing silver hoop earrings.

I was the most nervous about my Law in HIED course as I had heard that it may be difficult. It also didn’t help that the professor emailed us early in the course and let the class know that he would be more than a stickler for APA format. This class also required a LOT of reading I’m talking at least a hundred pages a week. Throughout this class I mainly read various cases and wrote APA style summarizations of a given one in a discussion post.  Now my Qualitative Research course was basically an add on to the introductory class, so this was simple since I was able to build on to my original assignment. My original assignment was a mini dissertation that focused on job outcomes for students on the Autism Spectrum in higher education.


Figure 2: This is a photo of a brown gavel used to illustrate my law course.

While both courses did require a lot of time and effort ya gurl successfully passed both with an A! With working full time and a few parttime jobs as well I always make sure to take care of business first! Reflecting on this semester here are a few takeaways for any other students out there:

  • 1.     Use a planner to stay organized.
  • 2.     Read your syllabus daily to keep up with assignments.
  • 3.     If you’re an online student like me log into your online platform (Canvas, Blackboard, D2L etc.) every day!
  • 4.     Stick to a schedule to create a routine.
  • 5.     It’s a marathon not a race. A bachelor’s or graduate degree still holds the same no matter the time it took to obtain it.
Figure 3: This is a screenshot of my grades. The course title is listed, the campus, and final grade of an A.

How did your semester go? Do you have any tips to stay successful? During the winter break I usually forget about school altogether but this semester I am taking a winter mini course which lasts for about four weeks so that’s currently where all my focus is. I’ll be sure to give you an update on how things are going. In the meantime check out my latest video and be sure to sign up for my weekly email list to stay up to date with Ms. Duggan and all things education!



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