For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a veterinarian. There was never any question in my mind. While many of my playmates, and eventually friends changed their minds several times, I could not see myself doing anything else. My family went from poor to middle class throughout my childhood. My parents showed me that hard work pays off.
Public school was easy for me so I did not have to study. I worked full time as soon as it was legal for me to while in highschool. This enabled me to save money to pay for most of my undergrad. Throughout undergrad I kept a job or two to save for vet school. I even became a resident advisor to get free rent.
When I started vet school, I quickly realized that working was not going to be an option (other than making some book money stuffing fliers in mailboxes at school). So I needed to take out loans to pay for tuition and fees. In total, I have approximately $200,000 in education debt. I call this my house I will not likely ever be able to purchase. It means that at least 1/3 of my paycheck goes to pay back loans for the next 30 years. This also means I will not likely ever have children as I cannot afford to.
Do I regret my decision? I answer that question differently everyday as I deal with ups and downs. Fortunately I love my career, because I will be working to pay for my education for a long time.