I was convinced that my education was my ticket to freedom. I applied myself in school and was accepted to the university of my choice on a scholarship that paid for my tuition. I afforded room and board with the dollars I saved (and invested) from waitressing tips.
After my first university degree I moved outside my comfort zone to Edinburgh to pursue a Master's degree in Neuroscience. I had a $60,000 CAD student loan, which was just enough money for one year of international student fees, tuition, and all living expenses. So I gave myself one year to complete my degree before my savings ran out.
With perseverance, determination, and a good mentor, I finished in one year with some strong publications in the medical literature. But I still didn't know what I wanted to do in my career. My default mode was getting an education, so I started my PhD at the University of British Columbia