Crazy Week: A life update
So, some of you have seen bits and pieces of what is going on in my life va twitter and facebook. Maybe you haven’t and this is the first time you have stopped by the blog. Either way, let me tell you about my week.
Lets start off by saying this: I am a student at the University of Arkansas. I attended Harding University before transferring here a year ago. I have made quite a spot here in Northwest Arkansas with a job I LOVE, a campus I enjoy, a great group of friends and a church that is trying to consider new ways to be relevent to the community around it. I am in a good place.
Okay, on Tuesday morning I went to confirm that I was taking a certain amount of hours online this semester. The woman said that I was correct, but that I had to pay for them that day because I missed an unpublished deadline. Sadly, I did not have upwards of $1000 on me. I could not pay for them all that day, meaning I would have to enroll in the others later in the semester. “Well,” I asked, “will this affect my status as a full time student?”
“You’re not a full time student.” she said.
“Yes, I am taking nine hours online and then taking more on campus which add up to full-time hours.”
“No,” she said. “I am sorry. We don’t add hours on campus and hours online together to make a full-time student.” I explained to hr that I had the previous semester with no issues. “We changed that policy July 1st.”
So there I was, not a full-time student without the required $1200 dollars it would take to make it so. This doesn’t sound like a big deal until you consider the domino effect which is that being a non-full time student I would now be facing the ticking time bomb that is the avalanche of student loan payments.
And right then and there… I began to cry.
Surely feeling uncomfortable she said, “Oh I am sure it isn’t that bad. I am sure you’re fine.”
I looked at her and said, “Ma’am, I have eighty thousand dollars in student loans that I will have to pay back at one percent a month. Do you know what one percent of 80,000 is?”
“Eighty?” she said quickly. I stared at her and she re-figured. “Oh!” she said, then looked concerned. “Eight hundred.” Now feeling the gravity of my situation she said, “Would you like a chocolate? They help me feel better.”
I left the office and had some needed me-time in my car, figuring out what I needed to do. I headed home to make some phone calls. I was told registration was closed at John Brown University as well as Northwest Arkansas Community College. I was out of options.
I sat down at my computer and half-jokingly wrote on Twitter “Is it possible to go back to Harding this late in the semester?” A few minutes later a friend of mine that is an admissions counselor was talking to me telling me everything I needed to do to come back, a fairly easy process.
After that it was working out the logistics. Where would I stay? Could I afford to go back? How would I pay for that? Would I work there? What about my things here? I really love my job, what am I going to do about that? What classes am I going to be able to get into.
I took a trip to Searcy the next day, Wednesday and met with some professors and got into classes that I needed: Public Administration, American foreign Policy, philosophy of the Far East and Ancient Israelite Poetry.
So here is the situation:
I am still working at the shelter. Right now I am working there Thursday night through Sunday night, driving to Searcy on Monday night to do school Tuesday through Thursday, then coming back here on Thursday night. It is a lot of driving, 7 hours round trip. But I think I can make it work until winter. When the roads freeze up we might have to reconsider this arrangement. But for now it is a good set up… I think.
My first trip back is tomorrow.