We’re Not Paying for It

Most of us think of advice as words of wisdom.  Advice should be more than words, it should be something that is meaningful and sticks with you for the rest of your life.  The best advice I received wasn’t advice per say, but it taught me a life lesson.

I was 19 years old and wanted to be a civil engineer.  At the time, Miami did not have a true engineering school, so I applied to the University of Kentucky (UK).  When I received my acceptance letter to UK, my parents could not understand what I was saying because I was running around like a maniac.  After becoming coherent, I showed my mother the acceptance letter.  She told me this: “It’s not Miami, so we’re not paying for it.”

I was devastated.  How could my parents do this to me?  How could they crush my dream of becoming the greatest female civil engineer?  I mean, isn’t it the parents’ responsibility to pay for their child’s education?

Since I am a tad strong-willed, I decided that I wasn’t going to let my parents stop me.  Come hell or high water, I was going to find a way to pay for the exorbitant out-of-state tuition.  I legally declared independence from my parents, which made me eligible for a great deal of financial aid.

Later that year, UK announced that it was raising out-of-state tuition by $1000.  I could no longer afford to attend the school, so I transferred to my family’s beloved Miami and became a paper science & engineering major.  I thought my parents would pay my tuition since it was Miami.  They didn’t.  I was jealous of my friends because they didn’t have to worry about money.  All they had to do was call Mommy & Daddy.  I did not have that luxury.

Nearly 20 years later, I can honestly say that was the best thing my mother could have ever done for me.  I was forced to fend for myself without the safety net known as Mom & Dad.  Being on my own at such an early age taught me responsibility.  I learned I could support myself without anyone’s help and live to tell about it.

Advice.  We all give it; we all receive it.  I am glad I decided to be on the receiving end of Mom’s advice.

8 Responses to We’re Not Paying for It

  1. Very good post- Always enjoy stories of “growing up”!

  2. Great story! Love to hear about the pursuit of non-conventional (according to the public 🙂 careers. How has the shift in the major been? Still having fun?

  3. izzydarlow says:

    Nothin’ like the school of hard knocks to make things real.

  4. Saxon Henry says:

    Isn’t it interesting that the things that stick with us the most often feel so traumatic at the time but do turn out to be major turning points in our lives. This was a biggie that will serve you for the rest of your life. You’re so wise to remember it so strongly and positively, and kudos to you for being so awake!

  5. Brenda Lynn says:

    I assure you that it was hard for your parents to say no to you, but look where it got you! When my ex husband finally said no to our younger daughter, it allowed her to grow up.

    Keep up the good work.

    Brenda Lynn

  6. Rufus Dogg says:

    Get your own ham. I think the best thing parents can do for their kids is teach them self-reliance. Unfortunately, In today’s culture, it looks like cruelty and abuse. Especially at Miami

  7. Oh wow! My dad pretty much did the same to me. I think it’s the best thing that happened because I didn’t know how much of a survivor it would have made me to be responsible. It makes me value every dollar I spend though. I’m happy that you realized that!

    I agree with Rufus… self-reliance is essential even if it seems irrational at that time.

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