Paper Planning

My plans after high school confronting my logic and my ambitions.


   As Dwayne Michael Carter Junior, also known as Lil Wayne once said, “Money over everything.” As much fun as high school was, I can’t wait to get out into the world and advance my life forward.

   Since I was in 7th grade, Ialways wanted to be a teacher. I’ve thought the ideas of helping others and serving the community is about the most honorable thing one can do.

   One small issue stood in my way: college. For many students, it’s a natural step to go from high school to college, but for me, not so much. The fact of going back to school for at least two more years scared me, considering I’m about to finish my 12th year of schooling.

   The scariest part of college was the price. According to, the average student loan debt amount is $39,351. For me, this pushed me almost out of the option of college completely. I don’t have $40,000 laying around.  Not to mention, it’s not a secret that teachers don’t get paid enough. According to, the average teacher salary in the Missouri is about $58,000 This put me at a crossroads: my dream or my finances. Luckily, I’ve thought about this.

   We hear all the time trades pay incredible money. Anyone who has ever hired someone to work on their air conditioning unit or their breaker box can tell you it’s expensive. Naturally, growing up as a hands-on person, this seems like a great route for me. However, I don’t want to be turning wrenches for the rest of my life.

   The strengths of colleges cannot be ignored. That degree looks good to many employers and will make the difference when they decide between you and another person. College also grants great opportunities to line up careers. College can also help create connections with others that could help in the future. For me, these chances are not worth the money I would spend doing it.

   After high school, I want to go into school to be an electrician. This would allow me to make good money with minimal to no school and student debt. 

 However, I haven’t given up on my dream of being a teacher. This will allow me to build income with no debt. After that I would love to go back to school to teach.

   This plan is for the long term and could change at any time. I respect the choices of other kids to go straight into a four-year university, but for me personally, I can’t allow myself to become $40,000 in debt at 18. Who knows where life will take all of us, but when we are all 35 looking back at our choices when we were young. I bet I’ll still try to make the best financial decisions possible for myself.