It was a sad realization, but I knew that my family couldn’t afford to pay $20,000 dollars a year for me to go to Carolina and even with the state scholarships I had earned it didn’t feel right taking out loans. I had heard horror stories from people who had graduated ten years ago and were still only paying off interest from their loans, working part time jobs, because they couldn’t get a job with the degree that they had earned. I had always had a love for the medical field and knew that I wanted to succeed in a related career, but I felt trapped and devastated thinking that I wouldn’t be able to afford the proper schooling for a job in medicine. Even though I knew I probably wasn’t going, I still applied to universities around the state of South Carolina during my senior year, hoping that maybe I still had a chance.
It wasn’t until after I had received my acceptance letters (and then financial statements) that I truly realized I needed to look into a technical degree. My mother earned her associates degree in Dental Hygiene after she graduated high school and soon after began working. She had zero loans to pay off and was able to live comfortably and happily doing something that she loved. She and I had a long conversation about a career in occupational therapy. At first I was unsure; I had never really heard about OT before. She began to tell me about a patient she had who was a certified occupational therapist. The woman had flexible hours and worked with children, something I had always wanted to do. She explained that OT was a career based around helping people who were born disabled or suffered an injury that put them in this situation. I quickly began to jump on board with the idea and started researching careers in occupational therapy as well as the type of