Friday, January 29, 2010
So Far, So Good
I've survived my first two weeks of school! And I'm still excited about attending! I'm doing my best to keep the negative thoughts out of my head - the ones that say, "you can't do it" and "get a job". Sadly, it's not always just in my head. I may need to cut some naysayers out of my life.
Every time I tried to go to school in the past, something happened and I couldn't. When I was a teenager I asked my parents if they were going to help me pay for college. They said, "You're never going to graduate high school." I nearly didn't. I was working 38 hours a week. I was not able to keep up. I went back for a 5th year and signed up for a coop program that allowed me to leave at noon. When I finally did graduate, my parents weren't there. My father's fishing trip was far too important to miss.
My parents not only didn't help pay, they refused to allow me access to their tax returns so I could apply for financial aid. By the time the requisite two years of not being claimed as anyone's dependent had passed I was married. My husband really wanted me to go, he said, but there was always some reason why I couldn't. One day I went to the school and signed up for an EMT class without his permission. He was not happy. He complained about the money I was spending on gas. He accused me of having affairs with fellow students. He reported my car missing hoping I'd get pulled over on the way to class. The very next semester he decided he needed to go full time. I, of course, had to quit school altogether since we (I) could barely pay the rent. Words cannot describe the anger I felt.
I got a much-needed divorce, a better job, and a decent car. I decided to try again and signed up for a couple of classes in the evenings. That lasted for 2 semesters - until my boss started changing my hours and demanding that I work more overtime. My daughter was in elementary school and it became too difficult to keep up.
I may not get another chance. If I'm going to get my degree I need to find a way to go the whole four years now and make education my priority, not work. If I work, it will be part time and it will never come before studying. I'll talk to the financial advisors at the school about my options. I may not qualify for grants now, but I will probably qualify next year. I need to find out about student loans, too. Do they still have GSL's? There has to be some way to do this, and I'm going to find it.