Monday, February 27, 2012
I *really* like the story I wrote and hey, maybe I'll share it with you sometime. Until then, just take my word for it.
I am so blessed to be able to attend school like I have been the last year and a half.
How I got here-
Its really a miracle that I am even here. I truly felt like God was telling me to go back to school. It's something I've always wanted and planned on doing, but not until all the ktbunch were grown and finished with school themselves. This push from God was a little odd to me.
I took the leap of faith and applied for Fall 2010. I filled out my financial aid form and then waited. I initially received word that I passed the first round of admissions. Later I was notified that 'due to budget cuts' I wouldn't be accepted after all. Bummer.
I was confused but trusted God and figured I'd apply again the following year or apply somewhere else. Fall rolled around and another school year began and the youngest a year and a half or so...I knew it would have nearly broken my heart to be away from him and certainly didn't understand why God would have been telling me to return to school at that time.
It just fell in my lap-
I received notice that the school had received some sort of unexpected budgetary windfall and they were opening up the Spring Admission for the first time in years. If I wanted to accept their offer, I need not reapply and didn't have to pay the application fee either. How could I resist? My financial aid form was ready and waiting as well because it had been for the full calendar year. Everything was sitting in place nice and neat. Add to that the baby would be even older and it was a done deal!
It helped that the Mr. doesn't work a traditional 9-5 job and my oldest was graduating that spring as well and was already 18...an extra adult to have in the house is a huge help.
Better than I imagined-
I had only applied to CSULB, no other university. I thought I was 'settling' but I didn't mind. I applied because it was local enough that worse case scenario--I could ride my bike to school.
I was amazed by how wonderful the campus and professors were/are. The campus itself is huge and just beautiful. There are a TON of stairs though! It's annoying sometimes but mostly I thank God that I am strong and healthy enough to handle all the gazillion stairs up the campus hill. The professors were nice and truly interested in the welfare of their students, helpful and willing to do all they can to help students succeed if they are willing. I had a fabulous first semester Spring 2011 and couldn't imagine it ever being better.
Like most students, I was also concerned about finances and cost of attendance. I prayed that if God really wanted me to continue to attend, HE would supply a way. I walked into the scholarship office and was given a few to apply for--due the VERY next day! I weighed my odds and wrote an essay for the one I thought I'd have the best chances for, one for re-entry students, like me. I turned it in the next day. A couple months later, I received my award letter. I had received the scholarship in the full award amount. Combined with my financial aid, I would not have to worry about any college expenses!
Fall 2011 was rough. I had five classes, 16 units and one of them was a science class. I pushed through and passed everything. I also took workshop writing classes for the first time. What an amazing experience. One was creative non-fiction (and a lower division non-fiction that was a pre-req) and the other, fiction short story. The writing, editing, and critiquing process was such a great experience and I learned so much and became more confident in my writing ability.
This is it-
Now I'm in my last semester and I feel so excited. I still have to finish this semester but I know I will. I can't wait until the commencement ceremony. I am keeping my eye on the prize. Despite some internal issues I am facing right now, I am staying focused and know in a few more months, all the hard work will pay off.
I have four classes this semester, 14 units. Two of my classes are four units each! They carry a really heavy reading load but I'm scraping by. The other two classes are workshop writing classes again. I am enjoying fiction more and have an idea for my second story already! I've also started using the rec center which is free to students. It's a fabulous gym with lots of machines, free weights, basket ball and volley ball indoor courts, pool and beach volleyball outdoor court...I think there is a jacuzzi too? I can't remember. I mainly stay to the indoor track but that's ok....it's nice to know all the other opportunities are there if I want to utilize them.
I don't know what will happen after I graduate but I look forward to watching it all unfold.