I had a job straight out of high school at a local fast food restaurant. It was a decent job for someone my age that had no job skills or work experience and it carried me through that first summer as an official adult. It was hard work, but they had to pay me to be there, right?
When fall rolled around that year, I registered for a Calculus class and an English class at my local community college. My parents made too much money for me to receive any kind of Pell Grant-thing and no one had talked to me about scholarships, so I hadn’t applied for any. I ‘borrowed’ money from my parents–I should probably pay them back someday–to take those two courses, but I hardly ever went to class.
Lucky me, the instructors still practiced instructor-initiated withdrawal (they don’t any more) because I would have failed both classes if my professors hadn’t had me withdrawn from their classes. Something about me rarely coming to class, never having my homework done (when I did bother to show up), and missing all the test days must have tipped them off that if no one was making me do it, it wasn’t going to get done.
My first semester of college was a total flop.
The next spring, I got married. I kept working, but had no real interest in attending college and my then-husband (now ex) had no interest in supporting my decisions regarding college or anything else. Then I got pregnant and then divorced before the baby turned 1. I kept working, but by that time, I was feeling a stronger interest in attending college, but with no idea how to go about it.
My roommate/co-worker was taking a college-level accounting class and I was interested in the material she was learning. I may have flipped through her textbook a few times. Which may or may not have made me more interested in this whole accounting-thing.
And now, 11 years later, I’m attending college. I’ve almost got my 4-year degree in Accounting (just 10 classes to go!). And then I can get a real job. Just like a grownup.
P.S. After the lovely employees of my local financial aid office sent a scathing polite email to our parent university, requesting an updated timeline, my appeal was reviewed and approved. I’m saved! I finally received my funding on Friday, which is good, since I spent the money for the electric bill on all the textbooks.