So, here are the haps, my friends…
The bad news is: my plan to go back to Whatcom Community College this fall is a bust. The good news is: my plan to transfer into Western Washington University next fall is still on-track.
The longer version of that is this: I did an academic planning session with the counselors at Whatcom, and what we ended up deciding is that I’m basically don’t belong there. I already have the qualifications to be a junior at Western right now. There are a few holes in my transcript that I could fill by taking classes at WCC— e.g. 200-level Economics and Accounting classes— but there aren’t enough of them to fill out a full-time, 16-20 credit-hour schedule. I could go part-time and squeeze a class or two into my existing 40-hr work schedule if I really wanted to (I don’t). Also, that might even be a bad idea, because having too many excess credits on my transcript could end up reducing my financial aid, and costing me more in the long run. So all I really need to do now is apply to WWU as a transfer student and get accepted (which I’ve done before, w/ no difficulty) and then assemble enough student loans to pay for tuition, housing & basic needs for 2.5 years of higher education.
That’s all fine. But it’s like… okay, the f**k do I do now? Bare minimum I could apply to WWU and begin taking classes in April 2014. More realistically, I could apply now and get everything lined up for Summer quarter in June (if I’m feeling ambitious/impatient) or Fall 2014. That’s a 6-12 month hole in my life that I’m going to have to fill with something.
I guess I just keep doing what I doing? Stay in Lynden and continue durdling around at my boring dead-end job? Blerrrrrrrgh. The thing is, I’m massively frustrated with what I’m doing now, that’s why I’m going through all this trouble to finish the college plan that I started a decade ago and level-up my life here.
One alternative, which I’ve been giving a serious amount of consideration lately, is to pack up my life for a few months and go hang-out with my family in Florida for the winter. I know most of you are hearing about that for the first time right now. But just a few weeks ago, when my aunts from Fort Myers were in-town for a visit, I was talking up that plan so definitively that it seemed like a great idea to me (and to them). Now….
I just. I don’t know. Staying here in Lynden for another 6 months or a year seems bad. I’ll be grouchy and isolated and feel like I’m wasting 95% of my time on this planet. Going to Florida for 6 months or a year seems great! But it probably also means that I’ll be pretty broke, even if I manage to land a seasonal job for the winter.
And I’ll have to buy a car again. And I’ll miss my friends here in the PNW pretty bad. But the most frightening part is that it could mess up my Washington state residency in the eyes of the college’s admissions office. That doesn’t sound so bad until I tell you that in-state tuition at WWU is $10,000/yr while out-of-state tuition is more like $23,000/yr. So that 6 months in Florida might end up costing me something like $30,000 in extra student loans.
When I put it that way, 6 more months in Lynden is starting to sound like the saner, more adult thing to do, if only by comparison. It won’t be so bad. I’ll get through it.
I miss my family sooo much, though. Next year— starting in January— I’ll have two weeks of paid vacation time from work to use. I wasn’t planning on actually being around to use it, but now I guess that’s the direction I’m headed so… yay? I could stack all of that time into two weeks in late winter, when the weather in WA is really depressing, and take that cross-country trip to Florida that I’ve been hoping for. I wouldn’t even need to fly there, I could take the train. That’d be great.
Okay, this is starting to sound like a plan. I’ll go with that, for now. Thanks for reading, guys. ‘Til next time…