For those of you in college, I suppose you know the drill. For those of you not quite there yet, well you might be shocked at the amount of planning that goes into getting a secondary education. Firstly, you've got find some schools you're actually interested in.
For me, that was St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. It's only 35 minutes away from where I live, so the location is convenient. It's not hard to get into, which is great because I was a lackluster student in high school. And it's relatively cheap. The area is nice too.
I would have liked getting into the U of M but to be frank, I'm not a fan of the Twin Cities and that was enough to dissuade me.
So after you find your one (or two or three) dream schools, you apply. And wait with crossed fingers and black candles lit that you'll get an acceptable letter. Once you do, you let out a sigh of relief and happiness. But then comes the hard part.
How the hell do you pay for it!?
A lot of students, myself included, take the FAFSA route. You can get grants if you qualify and federal loans as well. If you're lucky enough to get a scholarship or have rich parents this is a step you might not have to worry much about.
Once you get the mind-fucking financial nonsense out of the way, you have to decide if it's better to live on campus or commute. I don't drive. And even if I did, I don't want to drive 35 minutes everyday to get to school and then 35 minutes back at the end of the day. So I opted to live in campus and hook myself up with a dorm.
I got my first choice dorm hall, which makes me really happy. It's connected to the cafeteria so I don't have to face -degree temperatures to get food in the winter. *insert gleeful laugh here*
So what comes next? Well....that's easy. Preparing to move in and getting set for classes. This could include a wide range of things. My biggest concern is dorm essentials and decoration. I'm already squared away on school supplies. I have a lovely black bag which nicely accommodates my binder, my notebooks, pens, calculator and any text books I may need. Concerning notebooks and such, I bought all the cheap off-brand stuff. I figured there was no point in getting anything fancy since I was going to cover it all in stickers and artwork anyways....
So...what does one bring to their home-away-from-home on campus? Bedding is a necessity. I needed to get XL twin sheets and I was scouring both Walmart and Target for weeks before they started releasing all their dorm bedding. I managed to find nice purple sheets at Walmart for less than $10 and a nice comforter set at Target for $35. I also nabbed a purple shower caddy, a purple towel, a small fan, a purple light-up alarm clock, and a purple door mirror.
Can you tell my favorite color is purple?
There's still so much I don't have though. I'm gonna need more body wash, a razor, new toothpaste, a first-aid kit, headache pills, a lock for my closet...and tons of other things. That equals a LOT of money, which I don't have since I've been living on a student budget for years now.
Luckily, I have a great significant other who's more than willing to help me out on the little things I need. I feel blessed. I'm getting my life on track. Things are going well so far.
Now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that the American government doesn't go into default and I actually get my loans. >_<