I figure that you most be wondering why I’m just now starting to live on campus at the age of 24, so I thought a little back story was needed.
I graduated from high school in 2005. I did take time off after high school ended to figure out what I really wanted to do, despite getting accepted to college. I explored working full-time and the possibility of joining the armed forces. After my dad had a heart attack (and survived) and my nephew was born, however, I decided that I did not want to be away from my family.
I started at my Community College (CC) and took a full course load of general studies classes while not having a declared major. I loved it! I decided I wanted to study English so that I could be an editor, so I transferred to a nearby State College. Stupidly, I decided to go to school full-time while working the graveyard shift full-time and living in a noisy apartment building. After a few semesters, I changed my major to Psychology after deciding English wasn’t for me. I switched to studying part-time while still working full-time but this time as a waitress (non-graveyard shift).
In April of 2008, my brother died. He died less than a week before finals, and I wasn’t able to finish the semester. I later got the grade changed to a late withdrawal rather than a failing grade (due to a zero on the final). In the months following his death, I took time to discover what I really wanted. Life is too short to spend id doing something I don’t absolutely love. I also didn’t think it was a wise use of my time to spend the next 10 years in school part-time just to end up with a Masters (and in psychology, you really need a doctorate). I went back to a favorite pastime – Web and graphics design.
I transferred back to my CC to study Graphic Design, and I am so thankful that I made that change. I started going to school full-time and really making school my top priority while only working part-time. I even moved in with my fiance (whom I met at State College) and he offered to support me while I finish school. After a year on the program’s wait list and two years in the program, I have my Associates degree in Applied Arts (Computer Graphic Design for Print and Internet Publishing).
I did start exploring my transfer options about a year and a half before graduating. I joined my CC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (an international honor society for 2-year schools) and researched schools I was interested in. A year before graduation, I started going on campus tours and finding out about scholarships. I ended up starting applications to 3 private schools and 2 state schools. I only finished my application to one state school and one private school and then ruled out the others due to high tuition cost or disinterest in the campus.
Because of my involvement and officer position in Phi Theta Kappa, I was offered a $10,000 scholarship to the private school, but ultimately chose State University because of all the schools I visited, their Art faculty impressed me the most. A lot of the private schools had condescending or rude professors at my portfolio reviews (required for Art program applicants). I’m glad I chose State because I also heard that the private schools I had been considering have non-existent disability services offices. As someone with test anxiety and general anxiety, that was a major item in the “Cons” column.
So now, at age 24, I am eligible for all the financial aid the Federal government has to offer which allows me to live in campus housing. Living on campus saves time with transportation; I would’ve had an hour drive or more with rush hour traffic, and my art classes start at 8:30am (did I mention I’m not a morning person?). It also supplies the best access to campus offerings such as the library and medical services.
This blog will allow me to share my existing knowledge about the inner workings of college administration as well as my discoveries about dorm life. 🙂
My next post will cover my dorm packet, which I am scheduled to receive this week! 🙂