What is ROI?

“ROI measures the gain or loss generated on an investment relative to the amount of money invested.“ You often hear this term when people are dealing with any form of finance. Big or small, personal or business this tool is used by many to calculate finances due to its flexibility.

How Does This Term Apply To You?

It may not sound like it does, but if you are a college student like me, it applies to you more than you think! Many of us are aware of the financial burden college can be. We are aware of this burden even prior to making the decision to go. However, we make the decision because we wanted to, or our parents wanted us too. Either way we made an investment. Anytime you invest time or money into something, it’s because you are expecting something in return. The mistake most of us make is we invest without a strategy or smart intentions. When I decided I was going to college, it was based on the fact that my life was planned out for me that way. I’m not sure I ever saw something different for myself, but I did always know I wanted more for myself. So like many, I headed off to college. I took out loans and invested in a ‘secure’ future. It wasn’t until I got here that I realized It was a scam.

“College is a Scam”

Our education system operates like any other business. Every college has a marketing, finance, legal, and social media team ( I know because I work on the digital marketing team). They have all the entities that major corporations have, and fluff it up by using the term “Education”. They oversell what they have to offer, and promote only the “great” aspects. They work hard to reach and target high school students in order to take their money. It took me a while to really understand how this education system was operated, and by the time I realized I was already $30,000 in the hole. Instead of calling it quits, or taking a semester off I did more research. I knew there was a reason I was on this path, and I just had to figure it out. If you guys read my post on switching my major then you might know where this is going. Switching my major was probably the smartest decision I made thus far in terms of education, it’s like a light went off in me. It pushed me to invest more in myself. It pushed me to put my future into perspective, and what I actually wanted to take away from these four years than just a degree. My ambition and drive became greater than anything I had expected, and whenever others would ask me what I wanted from college, I had a new answer than just a degree in business. Now I would tell them “I’m trying to get my return on investment”.

How I’m Ensuring I Get My Return

So now I’m over $40,000 in debt, what am I going to do to ensure that I get my return? I’m going to invest my time and money wisely moving forward. I already established that getting a degree is no longer a guarantee in this day in age, and if we are being honest most entry-level jobs won’t be enough to pay the bills. So by knowing this, I started playing smarter. I started going out more, meeting people, and networking at any chance I got, even if I felt uncomfortable. Out of all the things I’m about to tell you, hang onto this one the most, because it will always come back to who you know. By being a college student, one thing you can bet on is the diverse pool of people you are surrounded by. For me, I was able to create opportunities for myself by networking. I was also able to find mentors that were able to guide and help elevate me. When I combined the help of my mentors and the tools I was learning in class I was able to start pouring into my endeavors. If you have been following me on social media for a year or so now you can see the growth in my brand. This also came with the act of discipline. If you don’t have a strong work ethic and aren’t making necessary sacrifices than how will you succeed? I have always been a hard worker, but this was a different playing field so I had to up my game. I started staying up later (I don’t recommend it, start waking up earlier if you can), researching, taking notes, listening to more podcast, making more connections and putting it all into my ideas.

Granted none of this is easy, especially when you are a full-time student, but that’s where time management comes in. When I tell y’ all I take advantage of any little time I get, I’m not playing! I work two jobs, and if my bosses don’t give me anything to do I use the time to do my work. I call it finessing wherever you can finesse. I’m getting paid at one of my jobs to sit and do my own work while getting the experience they offer me. This just goes to show that I don’t play with my time. Once you realize that everything in life is a transaction, you will start to be more careful of who and what you give your time or money too. Even giving someone an hour of your time that has nothing to give you is a poor investment. This goes hand in hand with learning how to appropriately use what others give you.

How You Can Ensure Your Return

Take what I give you today, and use it for your benefit. Spread it amongst your peers and teach them. I like to refer to myself as a sponge because I am constantly absorbing and utilizing the information I receive. Before I go, I’m going to leave you with a few questions to ask yourself.

  1. Am I getting my money’s worth?

  2. How do I ensure I get my money’s worth?

  3. Is the time being invested valuable to my future?

  4. Are the people in my life adding a valuable perspective to my search?

  5. Am I content with getting less than I put in?