Right out of high school I started out at the local community college. I did exactly what I was suppose to do, exactly when I was suppose to do it. But the problem was, I wasn’t ready. I was dealing with too much shit. There was relationship drama, living situation drama, and eventually pregnancy drama. I was having trouble dealing with the fact that half the kids I hated from high school were in my college classes. Either way you look at it, I wasn’t ready. And I didn’t want it enough. It also didn’t help that I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.
So what did I do? I stopped going. I didn’t bother to properly drop the classes, I just stopped showing up. I was too young and stupid to realize that would effect me later on.
Fast forward a few years.
I finally figure out where I’m heading. I want my own photo studio. I figure out what I think I need to get there; a duel degree in photography and small business management. Only this time I don’t have the financial support of mom and dad. So I fill out the paperwork to get financial aid. And I sign up for classes. Oh wait, not that simple. Those 3 classes I stopped going to a few years back were on my transcript and I needed to get them taken care of before they’d let me attend more classes. I had literally flunked out of college. Whoops. So I fill out more paperwork and I get myself to where I can sign up again. Only this time it’s spring and every spring they review your transcript to determine eligibility for financial aid. Remember those 3 classes I flunked? Yep, they are still on my record. I don’t have a passing GPA. A little more time passes and I get those 3 bad grades off my record, with a little more paperwork.
So I sign up for two classes, CPT 101 and Math 103. And I get straight A’s.
I give it a rest through the summer semester. It had been a long battle to get into class and a long battle to keep my grade’s in the A range (98-100% both classes, thank you very much).
Now it’s fall and I sign up for more classes. This time I don’t have a battle to get in. Financial aid is in place and ready to go. My record is clean. I sign up for two classes; BMGT 101 and ENGL 101. I get half way through the classes and suddenly we’re in the middle of an apartment move and I get promoted at work. I know I can’t maintain my A’s through all this so I properly drop the classes figuring that would look better on my transcript then failing.
Now it’s the next spring. I call ahead to the school, expecting a battle for my financial aid. I’m told my aid is good to go, no problems. So I sign back up for ENGL 101 and BMGT 101. The day class starts I go online to start work, and wait… I’m not enrolled in any classes. I look at my schedule, yep I’d been dropped from them both. So I called the school. I’d been dropped for lack of payment. The aid? Yanked away because I’d dropped too many classes compared to the ones I’d completed. Well the classes I’d flunked out of were no longer on my transcript, so that could only mean the two classes I’d properly dropped. I’d expected this battle, that’s why I’d called ahead. I’d even checked 3 days before classes started to be sure my aid had payed for them, it had. They yanked it last minute. The kicker? I’d already received in the mail a check for 220$. It was my left over aid that hadn’t gone towards the classes. I’d already spent the money on various school supplies and books. So not only was I not enrolled in classes, but I owed my school 220$.
The plan from that point on was to pay for a few classes out of pocket so that I could get my transcript into better shape. I’d have to pay for the 220$ out of pocket as well, but I figured it was worth it. I knew the soonest I could take care of this was with my tax return. So that was the plan. Spend a portion of the tax return on the 220$ and a few classes.
But the time the tax return came, we were buying a van.
Mom paid the 220$, it had gone to the state’s attorney general by that point. I’ve already paid mom back. The 200$ we gave her from the sale of the Nissan took care of that. But that left the cost of a couple of classes to figure out, with me itching to go back to school.
So I started checking into student loans. I figured with the right loan I could kill two birds with one stone. I could get the money needed for school and have enough left over to take care of some bills while I have no hours at work. After all, student loans are meant to help out with living expenses while you are a student. Federal loans are the best route to go. They don’t look at your credit rating and you don’t have to pay them back until you are out of school. The problem is, they are part of financial aid, so if you don’t qualify for aid, due to too many dropped classes and not enough completed classes, you don’t qualify for the loan. Which left me with private loans. More paperwork later, and I was turned down for a loan with chase bank. It seems my credit rating sucks. I kinda figured it did. My only option was a co-signer. Problem is, I don’t have one. Pat isn’t an option because he’s on a fixed income. Mom refuses, I don’t really blame her. And dad has had a house foreclosure recently. That leaves no one.
Miraculously I managed to come up with the money needed for a single class. So I go to register. At which point I get the message that I can’t register because I have an existing balance with the school. That balance would be the 220$ that got paid back.
So that is where I stand. It’s 2 days before the start of the semester.
I’m calling the school come Monday to see if I can get the balance issue squared away. Assuming I can, think positive thoughts folks, I’m registering for BMGT 101. Then I’ll complete the class and earn my A. Then if I can get the financing I’ll take ENGL 101 this summer. I’ll take the fall quarter off because that’s when I’ll actually be needed. And from there who knows. I’ll try to get my aid back. We’ll see how that goes. Next spring I’ll take a few classes because I’ll have my tax return to pay for them. Though now that I’ve said that my van will explode and we’ll once again, 3rd time in a row, be putting half our tax return into vehicle repairs and/or replacement.
Meanwhile I’m really tired and I just want to go to school.
On a mental health note: It takes a lot of inner strength for anyone to get through this much red tape. I know I’m not the only one in the history of the world to fuck up college. I know I’m not the only one to go through processes similar to this. And it takes a lot of something special to get through it. At the same time it’s made harder by BPD. There is the constant voice in the back of my head telling me to give up and move on. So the fact that I’ve pushed through all this and havn’t given up, I must really want this.