Top 15 Blog Challenge: Sharonne Pettus

Editors note: We asked each of our Top 15 to tell us a story about a money-related blunder that they've made.

Lesson Learned

After my freshmen experience at a community college I decided to transfer to a university. I had a job since tenth grade of high school. I was so comfortable with having my own money that I found it a struggle to ask my parents for help once I transferred. I thought it would be a better college experience for me. I figured at a University I had a greater chance to decide what I wanted to do in the near future. There is variety of colleges on campus and a person can spend four years or more at the school. One can go from undergraduates program to graduates program. My parents told me it would be cheaper to go to a community college for two years to receive associates than transfer to a university to get a masters or bachelor. Of course I didn’t listen. I was so excited to begin at the university I never thought of the pros and cons. Which is probably the reason why begin to go through some new struggles when I began to attend the school. What I did not know was how expensive it would be. I struggled my sophomore year with loans and financial aid assistance. The business office sent me emails as a reminder to send 2000 dollars by a certain date or they would shut off my blackboard. Where was I going to get $2000 dollars from in two months? I can remember calling my mother crying because I could not purchase books or get the money in on time. I failed three classes because of my blackboard being cut off. Without blackboard I could not turn in any assignments or log on to any computer on campus. I assumed this was the real college experience everyone is supposed to struggle to prove they’re independence. I started to try and figure out ways to decrease the money I owed. I changed my meal plan to the lowest plan and begin to look for a job. During the summer I spent the summer working and paying off all that I owed the school. When I came back the following fall I got a campus job and continued to have the lowest meal plan. I have not had any financial struggle with school since. I definitely count this a lesson learned.