24 Year Old Converts Van on a Low Budget With Help From Her Student Loan and 2 Jobs!

I am a 24 year old veterinary student who lives in North Carolina. I found this van while surfing through craiglist last september (as I often do). So I drove out to a gravel lot in rural NC where the van was parked. She was a giant, dusty old 8 person passenger van from the University of Arkansas archaeology department and I was in love! The next day I had cashed out a portion of my student loans and scholarship and was driving her home, laughing and crying with my head hanging out the window.

When I started this project I didn’t even know how to hold a hammer correctly. My friend and I were working in a parking lot with head lamps and an extension cord that we had hung out the window of his second floor apartment and dragged into the van. I had some amazing people loan me their tools, their time and their garages along the way. A lot of youtube tutorials, tears, and long days later, the van was finally coming together! The entire build took me around 4 months–for the last month I drove it home and my mom and I worked from dawn to dusk every day to finish it.

I spent every second I had outside of school and work in the van and it was the greatest reckless spur of the moment purchase I have ever made! It has truly changed my life. I have always resented the notion that I have to live a certain way just because I am a doctor–and I am fighting to change that. Now my friends and I (and my dog) travel in the van every chance we get!

Sami Syed

Published in October


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