So I about a year ago I realized that I was miserable in a lot of things in my life. I found out I was pregnant on Novemeber 1st last year. When I found out that I was bringing another new life into the world I realized that I needed to get my life together. I had to find out how long until I would be graduating (bachelors degree in business with a focus on project management)I had to get myself mentally prepared to stay with my company until I had my degree and could job search more effectively because I could put BACHELOR'S DEGREE COMPLETED on my resume. December 2008. That's when I would be done taking 2 classes at a time. Okay, a little over a year and things will get better for the long term future for my family! I had a plan!
Well, I a week before I went on maternity leave I found out that my company was closing it's doors in colorado and that I was going to be laid off while I was on leave. Okay, time to re-adjust the plan. Well, I'm going to be getting unemployment starting in August and I'm getting to use all my vacation before the layoff so I will get paid until July and I'll have health benefits until August 1st so the baby's birth will be covered. I'll get unemployment until January then I can look for a new job with my degree in hand starting in December and family will fly out to watch me graduate and see me realize my dream of being a college grad, even though I had kids at 17 and 19. I still did it! It's going to be great!!
Well when I got laid off I went and sat down with the dean of my college knowing that I had 6 classes left. I knew I needed a plan to get these classes finished BY DECEMBER! So I went down there and she looked over my paperwork and told me that I actually only had 5 classes left. Great! So I took 1 online from july & august (yeah managerial accounting with a new born isn't really that fun, let me tell you!) next I took Advanced Project Management and Operations Management September and October (the final was yesterday!) so just 2 classes left and I'll have my degree in 8 WEEKS!! Let me tell you HOW freakin' exciting this is!
you know when you think you got some things finally coming together that there always has to be SOMETHING that goes wrong???? Yeah, here it comes!
My dean called me last week and told me that I actually have 3 classes left......oooooo....so she messed up back in June? Well, okay, not a big deal, I can take 3 classes right now. I mean I'm not working so SURELY I should be able to juggle 3 at a time, I HAVE to graduate, I NEED this degree...OKAY, here we go! Then yesterday my financial aid advisor, Carol, called me and said that I didn't have enough money from student loans to take 3 classes. I have to take 1 class now and then 2 classes NEXT semester (march/april) I was in the dollar store with Eric and the emotion just hit me....I was so sad I started crying and just handed the phone to my husband. HOW CAN THIS BE!?!?!?! What am I going to do? How can I possibly take care of my family NOW????
Panic set in....Then hugs from hubby and some deep breaths, I calmed down.....Problem solver mode set in....Okay, okay, I have to keep it together, how can I make this work? Who will know what to do? Dr. Moses!!! One of my favorite teachers of all time! This woman is one of the smartest most educated women that I know. She has 6 degrees, she's one of the academic deans at my school and she has such a kind spirit while not being afraid to stand up for the people that she loves at the same time! She will help me fix this or find the people who can.
So I called the school and found out that dr. moses wasn't going to be in until 5. Hubby made plans to coach the kids soccer practice in my place and have his Mom come over and watch the baby so I could go talk to her. I calmed down (I mean, there's a plan to deal with the monkey wrench in the other plan so we're good right!?!). Hubby and I finished our shopping, picked up the kids from school and even started a little craft project! Uh-oh, 4:45 and so now I have to go to school to talk to my teacher and Eric is taking the kids to soccer practice. Okay, here we go!
I went down to the school the whole time thinking about how bad this is and how this situation is screwing up my WHOLE LIFE! But trying not to lash out and start screaming at people. I got to the school and SHE WASN'T THERE....so I went in to the office and asked Keenan (co-student and friend) if she was there....now picture how I looked...trying not to cry, shaking....trying not to be furious that she wasn't there...Keenan looks up and sees me....his eyes bug out and he's deciding if he should run or not and looks at me again and goes, uh...kleenex?? (LOL!!! In retrospect of course, at the moment I was just trying to keep it together!) Then Dr. Moses walked in she hugged me and then we went to her office to talk. As the whole story comes pouring out of me she listens and asks questions.
Her: why don't you take out a private loan to cover the rest of the fees so you can take the 3 classes now?
me: because my credit sucks because my mortgage keeps going up and I can't afford my bills and I can't afford to get caught up on anything because Hubby's income is going down with winter hitting and my income is lowered because I'm only getting 60% of my regular pay on unemployment. The goal of getting this degree is to get to where I can get a higher paying job so that when I have more income I can afford to pay ALL the bills.
her: okay, well why is December so important?
me: because my unemployment runs out in January so I have to have a degree by december so I can put "BACHELORS DEGREE" on my resume
her: don't you watch the news?
me: uh, no.....
her: they just extended unemployment for 6 more months. After having it for 6 months you go off of it for 3 weeks and then you can re-file to get 6 more months of unemployement. Now, look at this as a very positive thing! During those 3 weeks you can go file for food stamps, go file for all the programs out there that you usually make too much money to recieve. File for WIC. Oh yeah, what kind of formula do you use for the baby? Enfamil? Oh great my grand daughter just went off formula and I have 14 cans you can HAVE!
me: you are freakin' amazing!!!
Okay so you get the idea....my plan fell apart but now I have a newer BETTER plan in place for my future. I only can take 1 class now, but that's really okay, I can focus on that class and work on other side projects I'm working on. In addition to that its the holidays! I mean who wants to try and juggle 3 intense college courses around thanksgiving and Christmas?? NOT ME! then no classes Jan/Feb that's okay, that's when my unem will run out and I'll have the time to go to the various government agencies to apply for aid because my income will be low because it's winter and Eric won't have been working very much.
March/April is when I'll be able to take the final 2 classes (the whole thing is that all my student loans are government student loans and the restriction on when I could take classes is based on the when the government will disburse my loan to the school) Now the graduation ceremony won't be until June and the 2nd six months of unemployment will run out in the end of July so really It's the same plan just set back a bit. And it's better because in June more people can travel, and more people will be able to come and see me graduate. I can either take 1 class in march/april and one in may/june and juggle even less with the same grad date in mind OR I can start my master's degree in may/june, then when I walk in June so proud of myself for my amazing acheivement of finally getting here, I can also be proud of myself for already starting on the NEXT big acheivement!
Thank you Dr. Moses!!! Thank you Judy! And Thank you Carol!!!
By the Way, I go to Devry University. Not some fancy smancy expensive "ivy league" school.....and I'm PROUD of it!!! I wish we had a mascot! Like...uh...the devry dorks or something!! It could be a cool uber dork with glasses and everything....GO DORKS!!! YES!