Tag Archives: college

Financial Aid After Dropping Out

Heads up guys!

So, fun story, last semester I signed up for classes for Spring 2015.  Even though I had already decided to drop out (again) at the time I was so invigorated by the idea that maybe I just need to stick to it!  Which sort of backfired on me as I instantly felt regret when I confirmed my attendance as well.  Please don’t be like me and forget that you did until the last moment when suddenly, school is around the corner.  I walked in, trying to be brave, and had to physically unregister from the semester.  Oddly enough, this was painless part.  Until they asked me to go to the Student Success Center and have an interview.  Why?!

The secretary was nice enough and slid me this blue sheet which I used to perform a self-interview on why I was dropping out.  That wasn’t hard, and I did make light of the situation in a way by responding, “If I had wanted it more then maybe I wouldn’t have been more motivated to stay,” to “… is there anything the individual, or the school, could have done to…” to basically say otherwise.  Ye-yuh for bad break-up replies.  Hopefully that doesn’t come back to bite me.  Goodness, please no.

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3rd day of the semester for the students.  I receive a letter as I am literally walking out to pick up my laundry downstairs.  It is from my old uni and about the refund I got several days ago (almost a week).  Apparently I’ve no claim to it and they would like their money back.  Not going to lie, I was a little dumbstruck.  A lot of questions ran through my mind: for example, why did they give me the refund in the first place?  Why don’t I have any claim?  And so on.  Like rage mashing a button for the anger welling up inside me.  Mostly because I had already spent the money on bills, paying off some of my debts, and taking a generous portion to donate into my savings because I need an emergency fund.  Everyone needs an emergency fund.

Thankfully I sorted it out (had to call in some aid from my parents).  This is what I am advising all dropouts make sure is done:

– please talk to Financial Aid, especially if you pulled out loans.  Should be a no-brainer but eh…

– make sure you are officially unregistered

– DO NOT TOUCH THE REFUND

– seek counseling if you need it.  Hard and unpleasant business, leaves you muddy feeling.

Short, simple.  Get it done.  Unlike me who waited forever.  Make sure you are up to date on all school charges.  It can be bull, and it won’t be fun but reward yourself.  Like by eating chocolate.  Lots of chocolate…

P.S.  With all this debt and managing money, doesn’t it seem like that if you could drop your current identity and all debt attached to it seem a lot easier?

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College Dropout

Ouch, even typing that made me feel terrible.

It’s a shame really – I feel so guilty for wanting to drop out.  It would be the second time and I never fixed what was the problem in the first place:  me.  That makes it sound really negative.  At this point in my life I don’t think I am ready for college and the commitment it holds.  Never mind the fact that I’ve spent about 6 semesters in, am a junior, and switched majors several times.  What sticks out is that I’ve felt the same:  I never wanted to go.  Not only that, I dragged myself through five of those semesters and though I did pretty good in the beginning, there’s not enough heart for me to continue on.  If I could recommend anything to myself it’d come with this icky word called Discipline.  Which I’m lacking.

Since I was a child, if I didn’t want to do something I didn’t do it.  That’s pretty true as an “adult” now (geez, I’m only 22) but I still get up and do chores because it’s become important to me.  College hasn’t been any different.  I feel pressured to get a degree – but in what?  I have no idea.  I’m not ready to decide because I want to do so many things right now.  Like write, and draw.  Actually, I’ve been wanting to do both those things for a long time and I don’t necessarily need a degree for either of them.  I guess it’d help but they are personal and are not helped by spending myself into debt.

So far my motivations are a cumulation of several things:

– money

– desire

– focus

– discipline

I don’t think I am a terrible person, but emotionally I feel like a traitor.  Like a rebel who’s throwing the bird to the people I care about and care about me.  I’m not saying college is a bad investment; just for me.  I thought that if I took some time off I would realign myself and all I noticed while I wasn’t at school was that I had a lot of free time.  That somehow, was ridiculously frightening.  All that time and what did I do?  I slept a lot, dollied around.  I honestly can’t remember too much of it.  But I only got depressed with myself because I realized that I wasn’t being productive.  Actually my heart hurts because I actually like my professors.  I don’t want to let them down.  But I also want my reason for going to school to come from within me, not the people around me.  As much as some people might look down on me for dropping out there are some things I’d much rather be doing.

Spend your days doing things you love.  Be productive in your generosity and help others as much as possible.  Take breaks.  Stand by your decisions (which is kind of tough for me on this college biz).  Be able to remind yourself of the value of your investments and know when it is time to pull out.

Good luck to you all.

Moving Out Is a Pain

Slumbering through school at the moment, my mood is getting the drop on me while I pour over the apartment listings.  Weirdly enough, I don’t have too many options for one bedroom apartments or studios.  I did try to move out in the middle of winter.  Also tried to apply to an income based housing complex – turned down because my dad claimed me as a dependent on his taxes last year.  Ouch.  Like, seriously, that’s not cool!

Already told my roommate when I was planning on moving out and everything was sorted until really, two weeks ago when both our plans failed. Miserably.  They just jumped off the cliff of awesomeness and swan-dived into the pit of despair.  So I sat my roommate down and told him what was up with me and that I’ll probably be around.  I also told him I’m not going to just straight up ditch him – cause that’s a b*tch-*ss move and I still value our friendship.  He was thankful, we broke bread (essentially) and everything is pretty much at a standstill until then.

Guess I have time to save more money and get some other things aligned?  Found out my moms are buying me some furniture for my new apartment (something I was looking forward to until I realized I’m pretty broke).  TTOTT Bless their souls!  For the most part, there are a lot of good things about moving out later versus now.

– I have a place to live

– I’m taking a photo class; my roommate graduated with a MCOM degree with an emphasis in Photography

– Time to save

– Could possibly be decent at driving with some practice

– Summer might mean more available apartments?

In the end, we’ll shall soon find out.

Rules of Courtesy for Roommates

Condom packages on dining room table.  One used, empty.  The other still waiting.  Flour all over the kitchen counters, sink full of dishes and apartment air muggy.  Coffee table with dirty dishes, one plate with food still on it and two cups.

Here are some rules to help you and your roommate get along:

1)  Communicate:  when a problem arises, nip it in the bud and take care of it then and there.  The longer someone goes without speaking the more habitual and OK it becomes.  Listen to one another and find a good middle ground or compromise.

2)  Respect your roommate:  you are sharing a living space so ample amounts of respect needs to be had on both sides.

A)  If you make a mess, clean it up ASAP

B)  If you’re roommate’s sleeping and it is within their normal sleeping range, be quiet.

C)  Do not eat their food unless you’ve been given permission or have an arrangement set up beforehand.  If

     they have offered you some of their food or you’ve been given permission, check with them every time before

     you do – just in case.

          – this also applies to their things.  Coming back to a broken T.V. and no explanation or apology really hurts

          relationships

     D)  If you are going to have guests over, check with your roommate.

– Guests are guests:  not extra roommates

– monitor your guests and make sure they are respectful to your place and your roommate and their things

– Boyfriends/Girlfriends:  try to keep the PDA levels at a minimum.  Please don’t go munching on each

others faces and grabbing you-know-what while they are around.  Teasing each other is ohk.  Starting a

porno on your couch in front of your roommate is not.

:  Sex is good and healthy, in certain doses.  Your roommate doesn’t need to hear you and your SO

going at it all the time though.  If you’re planning on having sex, give your roommate a heads up.

If your planning goes around the time that your roommate is due home and you haven’t given them a

heads up, plan as if they are coming home an hour early.

:  unless your romantic partner is living with you lease wise, they do not live with you.  It’s super

awkward to come back to find someone else’s stuff in your space.  It is also super awkward when you

see them as frequently as your roommate or more often.

:  for god’s sake, clean up too!


3)  Be Mature:  don’t be passive-aggressive!

“My roommate and I sometimes leave our things in common areas (for example the living room, kitchen).  Some nights I would come back home after he finally decided to clean and find all those things tossed into my room.  Literally tossed.  What really pissed me off was how much of his stuff still remained in the living room.  It was like I didn’t live there sometimes.”

It’s mean.  It’s evil.  And it can be downright fun sometimes.  However, your first response to situations should always be to communicate the idea that something’s not working out.  If tossing empty boxes of their newly bought toys doesn’t work, straight up tell them to take out the trash.  Bottom Line:  effectively communicate with one another.

4)  Know When to Call it Quits

It’s sucky.  You’ve tried to communicate with your roommate and it’s failed.  You’ve pleaded with your roommate to shape up and they just shrugged it off.  If you keep beating your head against the same wall and nothing is changing and you only wind up with a worse headache, you’ve reached insanity.  This is the point when you should seriously consider moving out.  Sometimes communication fails.  Sometimes they don’t care enough about the things that bother you to change or improve upon their bad habits.  Sometimes you can’t make compromises.  Whatever the reasons if your home is no longer a home, or a sanctuary, you need to get out.  You should always look forward to coming home to recharge and get some R and R.

Stress needs to be managed and it can involve something drastic:  like moving out.  It’s can be scary (I know)!  You’re leaving an established abode and traveling into the unknown.  But if you don’t make an effort to change something you’re not going to feel any better.

I’ll write up a little post on how to move out later.  Probably once I start my own process because my current living arrangement isn’t working out.

Friends are dandy and all, and living with them can lead to good times.  But you either become closer than ever before or you become the murder suspect.  Take Away:  Good friends don’t always make for good roommates.

Here I Am

This is me. I come to this world so wild and free~

After winging the title that came back to me. Come to think of it, when I was younger I would loop-play Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron in the background. Constantly. The whole movie. And I would sing along the entire way. Great soundtrack!

Anywhoskiwhatsits – I’ve been MIA. For a while. A lot of things have happened since and similarly what happens when I skip out on my journal I have a hazy hash of updates. Some major decision that I’ve made:

– get a car
– get a license
– lose more weight (I went from 198 – 168-ish meow!)
– keep practicing my art skills
– learn more art paths
– DM a full campaign for Dungeons and Dragons
– keep in contact with my friends and family
– be healthy
– be more financially conscious
finish school (one way or another)

Let’s start with one of the biggest ambiguous decisions: school. Many people are enrolled in some form of tertiary education for a myriad of reasons. Bet though that many of us are here because we’ve been pelted with the same thought over and over – you can’t get a job if you don’t have a degree. (And if you don’t have a job, you can’t pay rent, eat, buy that snazzy new game that will have your fingers bleeding, and really life in general just dies. It just explodes and you temporarily cease to exist. Eventually you’ll just slink away into nothingness while your friends habitually comment on your unemployment-ness.) Happiness though, is compromised, by a lack of a degree.  (Which is ridiculous.)  Despite my fears and reservations I have enrolled for Fall semester pursuing a degree in Mass Communications w/ an emphasis in Graphic Communications and a minor in Biology. This was the best compromise for an art degree while keeping rounded and wouldn’t “waste” the credits of biology courses already taken. What led to this were tears, hard talks and painful epiphanies:

All my pain will continue to build until I no longer lumber to surmount them.  Somehow, almost three years later, I find my heart burning while walking near my old dorm hall and through various colleges.  So many things bring me back to unpleasant (understatement) memories.  I have to reconstruct not only my life but my self-image.  This means letting go of all the ideas and dreams I had with my fiance.  That is still so incredibly hard to do.  So I cut my hair, I chose a different major after taking a semester off and nearly failing out of two, establishing a new friend group, and trying so hard to depend on only myself.  Admittedly I am still bitter sometimes.  BUT that is not who I am as a person.  I’m a funny, quirky, adorable and caring person with a sensitive and loyal heart.

In my contemplations uni was one of the least amusing options.  Student loans aren’t fun and the flood of graduates coupled with the rising cost of tuition and textbooks (which are baloney) make me wonder.  Many people are falling out of school and pursuing other options.  What this boils down to is how I feel about one dream that lingers in my heart every waking moment:  to start a family.  Of all the things I long only for that, for that one chance to bear children and raise them.  One of my best friends likes to tease me about it but more importantly he likes to ask my why?  Why do I want kids so bad when the world is such a cold place?  So much time has passed and without even knowing, without his prompting, I finally have the words for the answer:  love.  I want to fill the world with more love.  In some way I hope that having uni will teach me to be a better artists and the social challenges of meeting people, befriending them, maintaining relationships will continue to provide me with valuable insight.  In other ways I hope that my education will benefit me and help me establish a sound environment free from most financial burdens.

Education is important regardless of the source.  Keep learning, keep studying.  Find your dreams and capture them!  Most importantly though love. Fill the world with love so it overflows and people can’t help but see it everywhere they look.

In Sickness

It’s funny.  I feel like being real with myself in an attempt to hopefully cure some problems that ail me at this point in my life.  Ails me.  How ironic.

     As I sit here writing I’m currently feeling under the weather and have been for a couple of days now.  At first I experienced some problems with my sinuses which really isn’t that uncommon.  But then my throat starting feeling tender and the next day it hurt.  Though to be honest, coughing tends to irritate your throat if you do it enough.  The day after I spend now trying various things to soothe my aching throat.  Talking came out much harsher and harder than previous days and the first few words spent were on my roommate headed out the door for a job.  I didn’t speak for the rest of the day until after I ordered some pizza online, avoiding the tomato sauce and acidic things, and even then it was more mouthing than anything.  My poor confused delivery boy.  After a few bites and swallows of water I tried to speak some words like “Hello” which was hard to produce.  And I sounded absolutely ridiculous.  So coarse and raw.  I spent the whole day silently laughing to myself.  When my roommate finally came back he came back with our friend.  I was surprised and they spent a good time teasing me which was all in good humor.  It made my day feel less lonely and crummy because there was a laughable quality to it all.

     Then we traveled to Walmart.  I wanted soup.  Hot and Sour because I loved the taste and it was soup.  Our friend also suggested some yogurt to help keep my immune system up (good thing I actually really love the taste of yogurt) and I ran into a former coworker and her husband twice.  Such a beautiful couple!  Happy, healthy and they suggested some lozenges branded Chloraseptic.  Maximum dose!  My throat was killing me.  I wanted to cry at some points while we were there because it hurt so much and there was little else I could do.  I think perhaps I had tried speaking to much when they had arrived. 

     Now that I am back home and chilling on my laptop I think back to the hiring sign I saw at Pizza hut.  It’s not far from where I used to work.  Part of me thinks that I would at least be good at that job but I also fear that I will dismissed because I won’t fit in.  It really gets to me and I need that to stop because it’s interfering with me functioning as a healthy individual.  I mean, I have to pay rent among other things, you know?  This month is covered and if I buy absolutely nothing, I will have more than enough for next month too.  But I need a job.  Part of me thinks back to the post I saw about not staying in a job you hated and that the worst that could happen if you tried something new was failure.  Gosh, that’s not such a good word to hear.  People pick those moments out of you if they want to tear you down too.  Maybe instead of lovely Taco Bell I’ll shoot for Pizza Hut and try to be a decent server. 

     I’m behind on papers, or rather forms, for school as well.  I should really work on that because they keep calling me (which really doesn’t help because I can’t really speak).  I got a good start and realized dude, I know everything for the others.  I just have to print them off and mail them out.  I’ll probably send my high school transcripts with them too because bother, the ones I sent in were a bad copy. 

     All my complaints of the day.  So for now, I will focus on the fact that the person I love is happy at the moment, despite wanting to shake the winter weight I’m feeling rather comfortable with my 182.  There’s something about a little extra poundage that really is helping keeping me warm right now, and fluffy!  And I’m getting back into the habit of writing every day.  Something.  Even if it kind of sucks to hear what I say when I read it back to myself.  Have to keep journaling somehow. 

War on Tests, Second Passage

Winter has settled in and temperatures are dropping.  Local meteorologists claim that this week will be nothing short of an iced over hell.  I sort of miss the warmth of last week.  Hopefully things will perk up.

Otherwise things are not looking so good.  The snow and chill is getting to me, making me cold and tired.  Right now I feel as I suppose a bear would, getting ready for hibernation.  Perhaps I shall hibernate to and come out when the sun is shining for longer than eight hours a day.

We are a week away from finals.  A simple seven days after tonight passes.  Preparations have been slow and dampened by the weather but supplies for my next assignment have come in.  Unfortunately today I was informed by courier that the papers I sent in confirming my graduation from secondary school indicated that I did not graduate.  Which is of course ridiculous:  why else would I be here?  Of the five official forms I had apparently they received the only copy that was messed up.  Now I must call and inform them of the mistake and make sure they get another correct, copy.  Otherwise I am left to figure out finances and tertiary enrollment transcripts.

I can see my breath in the air.

Coffee Break: College Is Not For Everyone

Today I was talking to a very good friend of mine.  He’s Canadian (not that I have anything against Canada – the more I learn about the country the more I fall in love with it.  Not the point.  End of this tangent!) and full of experiences that I very much needed to hear.  I always known he had dropped out of college and during this little dessert time (which needs to be a major thing for everyone) I asked him why.  Finally.

I’ve been struggling in college.  I’ve written about it some but I don’t think I ever got to the heart of the problem or the major cause of turmoil.  There are many things I have loved about college – social life, growth in personal matters, increasing independence, and freedom (which I suppose is related to the previous one).  But there are a lot of things that have hurt.  Academically, I’m pretty much failing.

So he shared his story which I will shameless share:  my friend had taken his dad’s advice and gone straight to college after high school.  But in his heart what he had wanted was to take a break from schooling and travel and just live.  It reminded me of what I wanted.  He told me he went into college and pretty much drew “a major from a hat” and partied all the time because he didn’t want to go to school.  Eventually he dropped out and joined the military and while there he learned something valuable:  he wanted to get back into college.  I nearly leaped out of my seat.  I jumped and said to him, “You know how you were then, right?  That’s how I am now!”  I needed someone to connect to, even if the person in my nearest sights is actually three years younger than I am.

Reality checks.  College is for a certain population.  Be ready.  Some times we will make mistakes (like me) and that you need to know it’s ohk to make those mistakes as long as you learn from them like I am continually learning from mine.  As much as I would like to give up and throw in the towel, I know that even with a degree in anything I can still accomplish one dream of a younger me:  travel to Korea, a land which I feel so connected and disconnects, and live there. I have friends that love and care for me that help check me so that I don’t completely dive off the cliff side.  But allow just enough slack to let me travel into some really interesting areas.
How about you guys?

High School

I was creeping on some of my old high school classmates and you know what I’ve noticed?  Some of them have gotten so much more attractive!  The ugly ducklings have now become beautiful swans.  But the most important thing was to see where some of them were working.

Some people are right where you thought they’d be.  Some people surprise you with where they ended up.  You are proud for them.  And at the same time, you are wondering to yourself (or I am to myself) where am I?  Am I where I am supposed to be?  Am I doing the things I need to?  Would I be proud of myself?

I’ve found that meditation on these thoughts helps keep me in perspective.  I can trace my progress in thoughts and examine if I am taking the right course.  Looking back on the past can really help put your future and your present in a much needed lens.  Have there been useful ways for you to re-evaluate your plans?

Disappointment

I was sitting down for my tutoring hours waiting for no one to come when two classmates of mine appeared, one after the other.

They both asked me if I was still in my Cell and Molec class to which I replied, “Technically yes.”  I just don’t go to class anymore and I do urge those still sane people, this is a bad idea.  The first was Classmate One and he sat down and spared a moment for a chat to get a feel for what was going on:  a tutor buddy had told him that I was changing majors which I repeated to him and I could see the strangest view in his eyes.  He seemed… awfully disappointed in me.  Much like my adviser had shown me when I told her.  It led to a lot of questions about why and how I am going to make money and such things that are important in life.  The second was Classmate Two and he asked me in a cautious and caring tone, “What the hell is going on?”  He meant it as in, “Are you all right?  Do you need help?”  I can’t explain enough how much I hate going to class and how this is draining me to be ohk with their looks.  Classmate Two was far kinder in expression though.  On the inside though, rage boiled. In some ways I felt that they were looking at me for the loss of potential and they had thought so little of my new area of study.  They thought so little of art as being worthy of study.  And this saddened me deeply.

15:30 came quickly, not before I escaped the thought of crying.  Who else was I letting down?  Who was close to me that felt I needed to snap out of it and keep on chugging on?

I decided to visit the DC Booth Fish Hatchery with two precious friends:  my roommate and Seth.  I stood outside the balcony of my apartment complex and told Seth about my experience with Classmate One and asked, “Why are people so disappointed?”  Seth said simply, “Because you are good at it.  But you know what?  It’s your life.”  And that was one of the best things I had heard all day.  The other was from beloved friend M (who had replied to, “What are you afraid is going to happen?”) that she worried I might not be independent when I needed to be.  I needed to hear that too.

College is a difficult institution for me.  I’ve not wanted to go.  I had actually not intended on it.  I chose to accept what my mom wanted for me and in turn, here I am.  Do I regret the experiences I have had so far?  No, not really.  What I regret is not being a strong enough person to fit into college.  I can feel it in my bones from a conversation I had with my friend John who spoke to me dearly about his let downs and out-of-place experiences in our town and university.  He said he needed to leave and was taking some time and I tried to caution him never to lose passion for fear that we may wither into nothingness if we both weren’t careful.  I need a break, I need to do something for me and that includes pursuing a different course.

Otherwise, my depression will eat me alive.