I'm having trouble connecting the dots.
July 26, 2012 10:14 PM Subscribe
How do I get over no longer being able to afford the awesome school I almost graduated from? I'm at the end of the (long, winding) road, staring down a Voluntary Withdrawal form and it's killing me, despite everything I'm managing to tell myself. Gratuitous B.A. derailment details inside.
(Sorry for the length here, I've been meaning to ask this for weeks. I'll do my best to condense everything into something that makes sense).
The school year before last (2010-2011), I was attending a Good School in Washington, D.C. I was studying something that interested me, meeting wonderful people that I still care a lot about, and I had an amazing job that I loved at a particularly well-known museum that I was able to get through federal work-study.* It was all pretty damned sweet, and I consider myself incredibly lucky to have experienced it.
The school was also very expensive. I transferred in from a community college, and the year that I attended was financed by a substantial loan from a family member (after generous financial aid from the school). This family-member-loan was a one-shot deal, and the plan was to get a bank loan on my own to finance my senior year (which would have been my only such loan). As it turned out, I needed a cosigner. Months of trying to secure this loan and convince potential co-signers that they were in good hands (an exhausting task) was all for naught. I was three thousand miles away from school when classes started up again, and I was devastated.
So the school year that was to be my last (2011-2012) was spent in limbo while I tried to improve my credit. I spent a term at a state university in Portland, Oregon to keep my mind at-the-ready academically. My financial aid in D.C. turned out to be a pittance this year, and, just like that, I'll be finishing my B.A. in Portland (2012-2013). The school in this case isn't terrible. It's a hell of a lot cheaper than the other one, and I'm going to be able to graduate without having a single bank loan! I'll be indebted to the feds and my gracious family member for a while, but I'm otherwise allowing this to count as a small victory. Another would be that I feel I've grown tremendously in the last year and a half, which is part of why I moved to DC in the first place. So that worked, a little.
I'm always reminding myself about how this situation is playing out to my probable benefit (I'll graduate with less and no "evil" debt, I'm much closer to family and many important friends, I might be able to get away without working during the school year so I can focus on my grades, and / but Portland's full of beautiful girls, etc, etc). It's just that any time I see D.C. on TV or in the movies, I often end up seeing where I worked. Or, when I see / hear a former professor talking about some event on TV or the radio, even friends on facebook(!) I get that socked-in-the-gut feeling. This has been going on for tooooo long.
So I guess what I'm wondering is this: Is it likely that just sending in that withdrawal form and charging on ahead will help? That's going to happen one way or another, but I'd like to move on with my life and emotions at any rate. Have any of you been in similar situations, maybe not with school per se, but with...? Any anecdata or advice or get-with-its are much appreciated.
* This job required a full calendar year's commitment before we were given permission to include the position on our resumes / use our supervisors as references. It goes without saying that I failed to meet this commitment. So while I learned a lot personally, I don't know that I can bring its weight to bear professionally. It's not the end of the world, but God Damn It, you know? This is one of the big hairy things that's eating me alive. Bonus question, is it worth asking my supervisor for a waiver of sorts in this regard?
TL;DR: Fantastic opportunities lost, replaced by other pretty-darned-okay opportunities. How do you detach from the first?