The best thing about college is the independence and the opportunity to start fresh. When I graduated from high school in 2015, I promised myself that I was leaving home asap. I chose a university six hours away. I was able to explore hidden parts of myself and be free.
However, my naiveté was uncalled for, because—guess what—college is expensive. Sure, that’s glaringly obvious. But 18-year-old me was so set to leave and do something more, and I assumed I’d figure it out. I was awarded a scholarship that would cover my housing fees for most of the school year; I rationalized that I’d have a year to come up with the money to pay for my sophomore fees. Spoiler alert: I didn’t.