Preparing for Final Exams: $66,663.50 Paid, $18,644.57 Till Payoff

So final exams ended for me recently, THANK GOD! I’m satisfied with my final grades and can’t wait to destroy my summer class. Another thank you goes to my wife. Thanks for taking care of our baby boy, and entertaining our ornery 2-year old daughter. Below are tips that helped me meet my academic goals with family and a full-time job.

1. Go to Class-And Yes, On Time.
Resist the urge to skip class for non-emergencies. Don’t create excuses either, reflect on the lesson from ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ children’s story.

2. Stay Engaged-Use Different Methods.
Some of us learn through long lectures, others prefer instructors with engaging PowerPoints, while others must do something with their hands. Try taking notes with different colored pens, pencils, and highlighters to stay entertained during class.

3. Don’t Cram-Study Now.
Waiting until the night of a major exam can be disastrous for your GPA. Throughout the semester review your class notes daily before going to class and after class. This way you will retain more of the information through repetition.

4. Stop Procrastinating-Manage Your Time.
Organize your days by designating time for work, hanging out with friends, and study based on priority of deadlines.

5. Seek Support-Before Needing Help.
Remember, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. We all go through stressful times, arrange to study with others in groups. Tackle challenges to learn material together, choose study mates wisely.

6. Quiz Yourself-Improve Your Knowledge.
Make flash cards or go digital with Quizlet’s online tool. Gauging your knowledge before exam time can prevent all-nighters.

7. Focus on Strengths-Not Weaknesses.
Are you most focused in morning or night? Consider your responsibilities at work and family obligations to allow time for rest.

8. Stay Positive-Visualize Success
If you tell yourself, “What’s the use? I’m going to fail anyway?” You will be 100% correct, 100% of the time. See yourself doing well on the final and determine steps necessary to make your dream a reality.

9. Rest-Don’t Stress.
According to Psychology Today, sleep is beneficial because 1) sleep protects new memories, lack of sleep makes you more irritable and forgetful 2) sleep consolidates memories according to their relative importance and the learner’s expectations for remembering.

10. Repeat Steps 1-9-Never Give Up.
Before you know it the semester will be over, you will log into student portal to review your semester grades and smile. You paid the price to win.

As usual, below is an update of my student loan balance. Until next time everyone! Stay strong, fight on, and have no debt but love!

Success is a Journey, Not a Destination: $58,661.20 Paid, $26,646.87 Till Pay Off

Hi everyone! Thank you for the continued support along my debt repayment journey. Below is my student loan balance update.

I have now paid off 68% of my student loans. With my student loans now at $26,646.87, I struggle with a lot of what ifs. What if I attended a cheaper school? What if I didn’t have student loans? What if the $58,661.20 paid toward my debt’s principal was money added into retirement accounts?

I snap out of the “Woe is me” and remember…
1 Timothy 6:6-10 (NIV) reads, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs”.

This scripture is not saying we should have nothing else beyond food and clothing. Nor is this scripture condemning ambition and the desire to earn wealth. This passage warns us against greed and the misuse of wealth.

Money should not be our final goal. We should aspire to know the Lord more; because he gives us the ability to enjoy what He blessed us with. Have you ever logged into your social media account and became envious of a friend’s latest vacation, celebratory post of a purchased house, or new job/promotion?

Comparing ourselves to others and living with regret is dangerous. There are times we will make lane changes and reverse to parallel park. However, staying fixated on other cars and not the road ahead of us will cause crashes-resulting in property loss or death.

Regardless of what our peers earn annually and possessions they enjoy, we must remember “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”-Colossians 3:23 (NIV).

I will soon release a video entitled, “Most Affordable Texas Colleges-Legit Schools Costing Under 20k Per Year”. The video will be available through the No Debt But Love YouTube channel. Please subscribe to the channel, like, and share the videos; your support is much appreciated.

Impostor Syndrome-The Progress Continues

I didn’t intend to write and post on a holiday break from work.  However, it weighs heavy on me.  Today, the United States commemorates the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  He was a man who stood firmly for what he believed in, that we are all created equal by a holy and sovereign God.  His dream was for a united America, not just for unity’s sake but under a righteous God.

It’s interesting to recount how little regard I have placed for the sacrifices of the nation’s founders and my forefathers.  In my ignorance I have failed to understand the significance of the freedoms enjoyed today.  In my freedom, I believed it gave me license to ignore, disrespect, and berate.

You are seen as hateful if you have a different opinion.  Dr. King had a radical difference of opinion.  The truth is what guided him were the traditions of Judeo-Christian values, he was a Baptist minister.  Today, these values are under attack.

Politicians and their constituents are believing that the United States isn’t “that great” or ever “great” to begin with.  If that were so, what were tears shed, blood spilled, and lives lost for?  Besides every day people suffering and dying for ideals, Presidents have paid with their lives as well,

This country has a long standing tradition of seeking to improve the lives of our fellow brothers and sisters.  Let us not fall victim to…

There are days I want to give up.  There are even more days doubt sets in about my capabilities, but then I remember the following.

We can’t correct the hurts and harms of yesterday, but we can enjoy today’s freedoms.