When You’re Dealt Financial Lemons…

The point of this post is to define a time in your life when you were handed lemons and made lemonade. If you’ve never heard the analogy it basically means explain how you were put in a tough situation and made the best of it turning it into a GOOD thing. I think I have something good that will fit here…


Lemonade moments have dotted my life a lot but I’m a “glass half full” guy. I’ve always looked at the better side of things when something bad has happened. It is just a better general feeling I think to always be positive than negative anyway.

It All Started Back When…

I was 19 and just finishing my first year in college. The grades were mediocre for the first year, but I think that was due to the fact that I took 21 credits my freshman year and didn’t realize:

1. Studying for 7 classes takes a lot more time than it did in high school.
2. Socializing takes a lot more time than it did in high school.
3. Managing your time takes a lot more than it did in high school.
4. YOU are responsible for everything you do in school.

I was able to cruise through high school never taking a book home and still getting a pretty decent 3.7 GPA. It really started to wear on me when I found out what I got myself into. My scholarship was based on me keeping a 3.0 GPA and that first semester I got a 2.3 and 2.7 respectively.


What Did That Mean

That meant that my scholarship was going to take a hike for the following year and if I didn’t get the GPA back up. After freshman year they sucker you in a bit more and take some of the $ away anyway. They base that on you thinking you want to continue and that you’ll likely pay a bit more the following year. I actually had to find a way to come with about 1ok more than I did my freshman year.

Money was tight in my house anyway; Mom was just getting back into the workforce after my old man left, and hewas helping to fund my college the first year, but I had to take out a few more loans the second year for that other 10k I needed.

I needed to buckle down and clearly take a few less classes and really concentrate on bringing the GPA up.

How Did I Do


The grades came up the second year to “close” to 3.0, and they thought that was enough to let me try again. Less money they gave, and more money I borrowed. At the same time my sister was entering school making $ even tighter junior year. Another 12k loan that year really pushed the limits to me thinking of just calling it quits and getting a job halfway through.

I decided I wanted to stay in school though so I had to come up with a way to stick it out, so I got a job junior year to help pay for the costs. It wasn’t much, and I still had to live on top ramen and cup o’ noodles. The money I made there went to pay for the first semester my senior year.

Making Lemonade

Senior year was still very tight for me, a second and third job, and coincidentally when I started looking for references in the outside world. Through my school, I met the person there that eventually would introduce me to the current job I’m in (7 years running) and wouldn’t have met them unless I stayed that final year.

Even though I was 40k deep in loans by the end of it, I’ve actually made a pretty good life for myself and have several new ideas coming up in the future because of the education and contacts I got at school. I’m still sitting at about 23k left to pay off, but with my contacts, and low interest rate, it seems to be dropping pretty quickly.

I was dealt a pretty bum hand financially (lemons) that really blossomed by sticking the nose to the grindstone and just getting it done (lemonade) scraping by on what I could come up with and paying often on the last possibly day to pay bills and dues.

1 Comment

  1. I can slightly feel your pain a bit. I myself just started at a University and will be neck deep in debt after im here for a few years. I’m just hoping they keep the interest rates low.

    FYI there are a few spelling erros and typos in this post. Might want to re-read it and fix those =)

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