Season’s Greetings !

Today is the last day of my Fall semester and I am so grateful that it’s done. This semester was emotionally tumultuous for so many different reasons, but I guess that’s to be expected for my first term back after an almost three year absence!

I did get some AMAZING news a few days before the semester ended — I’ve been granted financial aid for the 2014 school year! When I was last in college, my older sister passed away and I lost what drive and ambition I had for my education. When I failed out of my classes that term, my financial aid was taken away from me and I was told that I’d no longer be eligible. I tried to appeal the decision but was told that I didn’t have “enough proof” to substantiate the overruling. I accepted that it was very unlikely I’d ever be able to finish college.

Fast forward two and a half years, and I have been working 60-70 hour weeks to save up enough money for my tuition, since I receive no assistance from the government. Nick and I were both overworked and struggling with money just to be able to pay for the two classes I took this Fall, and the pressure of knowing that we had to work so hard for a measly 6 credits (less, actually, because my math class was a prerequisite and would not count toward my degree — DESPITE it costing more than the courses that did count cost!) was forcing me to lean more toward getting over any ideas I had of graduating or getting my degree.

Well, that all changed on Tuesday! I received an email from my school asking me how I’d like to “receive my refund”.  What refund, you ask? I had no idea! I called my school and was told that apparently, when I registered for school a few months ago, the financial aid I was required to applied for was actually APPROVED! I got no notice from the government or from my school until I called them, and am so grateful I decided to check my email that morning!

I was thrilled, to be honest. They were reimbursing me for the amount we worked so hard to pay — and then extra as well, to cover any other school-related expenses I may have had. I couldn’t even form coherent words – I sat in a dumb, stunned silence and started crying because I couldn’t believe that I would be able to really go to school and finish my education!

The next day, I called my school back again the following day to confirm some information regarding the way my money was being sent to me. During this phone call, I got ANOTHER bit of news — Not only was this refund being sent to me, BUT I WAS APPROVED FOR GRANTS FOR THE ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR!! This means that I can go next semester, and the one after that! At no cost to me! The grants cover my tuition and books and expenses 110% — At this point, I was actually sobbing into the phone. I kept thanking this poor unsuspecting business office woman who was very sweet to me, bless her heart.

I am now enrolled for the Spring 2014 term and am going to be taking a total of 9 credit hours — All of which will count toward my degree requirements. I am really excited and happy and can’t even convey my gratitude at whatever fluke enabled this change to occur!

Aside from the hectic stress mess that is finals week and my newly approved financial aid, we’ve been getting into the holiday spirit! We spent part of last Saturday at an awesome local event that I will be posting soon, and we’ve been sleeping by the Christmas tree at night because the lights are pretty. 🙂

I’ve been having an amazing time learning the ropes of Grand Theft Auto: V (my first GTA game ever!) and the online mode has taken up the majority of my non-school, non-blog free time! And taking pictures! Pictures of everything! I’ll have some recap posts up soon. 🙂

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