Tag Archives: College is hard

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” ―Mother Teresa

This past week has been a test of my patients. The college I was planning to go back to keeps blocking all ways of progress for my degree and I was at the end of my rope. I didn’t know what else to do, I was ready to just give up. Instead, I prayed. When we take that leap of faith and pray, it will surprise you what answers will come to you. What came to me? Well, I was prompted to no longer pursue that school. If the institution is no longer willing to work with me, there is no reason to give them any more of my money or time.

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 10.20.21 AMLet me tell you all, this school is (in my experience) the worst one in California. Ever since I started there in 2011, I have run into issue after issue. Just last year they wanted to charge me for a book they misplaced. To make it worse, they were charging me more than a brand new book would cost. The book you can see here and in the image is the one they lost. The price is about $15 new and they wanted to charge me over $20. They were withholding my transcripts from being sent to Los Angeles Valley College (where I was transferring). Of course, I took matters into my own hands. I went above the whole staff at the college and I contacted the president of the school system. Yes, the president. Some may think, “why would you bother the president with a silly little book. Just pay the fee.” No, it wasn’t my book to pay for. It was not my fault they misplaced it. Once it is back at the library, it is no longer my responsibility. Well, a couple of days later, I received an email directly from him (crazy, right?) saying that he will be contacting the school to fix this problem. The best part? A couple of hours after receiving said email, I got a call from the school saying all holds and charges for the book had been dropped. What a shocker! It couldn’t have had anything to do with the president, could it?

You could imagine how tired I was of fighting this school by now, right? This is just one example of many and I thought that, when I moved to L.A., I would be done with them but I was so very wrong. Life put me in a place where I was going to go back to this awful place that I despised so very much. It’s not the teachers or the curriculum I dislike, though one teacher I had almost caused a fight between groups of students in the class twice due to her curriculum. No, it’s the staff in the admissions and records department. They are supposed to know more than they do but they don’t and they refuse to work with you to find out. I have had to turn to the counseling department for things admissions and records should have helped me with. The last 3 months have been a nightmare working with them because they are so incompetent.

This is why I prayed. I was ready to  just give up all that I had worked for. I was done, I couldn’t take it anymore. But when I prayed, I felt so much peace. I am about an hour away from the college I was going to go back to and there is another college in the town I’m in. I didn’t want to go to this other college because when I transfer to a university, I didn’t want to have to send transcripts from 3 different colleges. I wanted to just send 2 transcripts and be done with it. But sometimes the plan we have is not what is best. I am now preparing to go to this other college and I have discovered I will be able to receive 5 degrees and 3 certificates (Child and Adolescent Development AA-T, Early Childhood Education AS-T, English AA-T, University Studies in Elementary Teaching Preparation AA-T, Child Development AS, Child Development Teacher Certificate of Achievement, Child Development Assistant Skill Certificate, and Child Development Associate Teacher Skill Certificate). You may be thinking that it’s excessive and unnecessary but I honestly don’t have to do anything extra for these degrees. For example, the Early Childhood Education AS-T and the Child Development AS need the exact same courses.

Anyway, I wanted to let you all know that things really are looking up. I may not currently have a job but I am applying like crazy. I have school to keep me busy and friends on my side.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog. Keep visiting weekly to learn more about my life and the world around me. If you have every felt frustrated about your school, comment below with how you handled it. I love hearing from you! Until next time, have a great week!

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“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ―Maya Angelou

Hello readers! Today will be a little different. I am in a fiction writing class this semester and one of our assignments is to write a short 5-page scene. I want to share with you what I have so far. I want to know what my readers think about what it is. What grade would you give me? What advice do you have to offer to make my story better? Just as a note, my teacher wanted us to base our story off of real life people. Also, he said that there doesn’t need to be a beginning, middle, and end so don’t fret about that, either. I look forward to reading your comments below.

Accidents Happen

             I still remember the day that I found out that my best friend and her daughter were hit by a car. I remember it like it was yesterday. The memories haunt me every day; I always think about how one small thing could have changed everything, either for the good or for the bad. The memories always start off ok, always starting with the moments before I even knew what had happened.

“Community College has so many class options but not enough online, I just need a few more classes and I could graduate in a year. Too bad a lot of the ones I have left are either hybrid or face-to-face classes, huh?” I said to my brindle colored pug, Ramsey, as I was looking at what classes I wanted to, or at least could, take in the spring. He had just jumped up in my lap and settled there all comfortable and ready for a nap.

I had just moved 4 hours away from the college I was attending and I was taking as many online courses as I could before I had to transfer, in the summer, to the local college by my new home in the big city. “Maybe I’ll call Misha and she can give me some guidance, since she has a degree. Or she could at least listen to me go on and on about how annoying it is that I can’t take in-person courses and finish my degree on time.” Ramsey barked as if to say that my idea was a great one. Honestly, when is it every a bad idea to talk to your best friend about your life decisions?

I settled down on my fluffy couch, wrapped in my fresh out of the dryer blanket, with my computer, open to the list of web only course options on Web advisor, in front of me then picked up my phone to dial Misha’s number. My registration date was fast approaching and I needed to figure this all out fast. The phone rang several times, then, right before the last ring, a soft voice could be heard on the other line. I was so glad to have someone to talk to, other than Ramsey. Don’t get me wrong, he was a great listener, but sometimes it’s nice to talk to someone who can respond back with words instead of just kisses and barks.

“Hey best friend!” I was super excited to talk about school, especially since it was what we were talking about the day before. “This is Lidia, Misha’s mom, she and Colleen were hit by a car this morning while they were walking to daycare.” The phone slipped out of my hand with a crash, onto the floor. I was trembling and tears began to stream down my pale face.. Ramsey began barking wildly, as he knew something was wrong, and began nudging my messy blond hair from the couch. It took me all but several seconds to realize Misha’s mom was calmly calling for me through the phone, I heard my name being said several times before it actually registered in my brain. Finally I came-to and picked the phone back up off the ground. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” I was at a loss for words. Was my best friend of eleven years gone? And her little one-year-old daughter; was she gone as well? I needed answers; I needed to be there. Why was I still sitting on the couch in my little 500 square foot apartment, almost four hours away? I had a car; I had the ability to travel from my apartment to the hospital where she was, hopefully still alive. I hadn’t ever done it before because my husband was always the one driving but I needed to be there to see Misha for myself. I had to know that she was still here, I couldn’t lose her. Not this way. I couldn’t lose another loved one. I especially couldn’t lose another loved one due to reckless drivers. Would God take away everyone I cared about in the same way? How could this have happened, again?

My thoughts were almost drowning out what Misha’s mom was saying to me over the phone. My thoughts had slowed down enough to understand when Lidia had said “Misha is ok, she’s awake. She has multiple broken bones and swelling but she’ll be alright. She’s the one who told me to answer your call. She must have a specific ringtone for you because she knew it was you calling right away.” There was a small sigh of relief amidst all of my sniffling and tears. She also informed me of Colleen’s condition “Colleen is fine, there are no broken bones and she should, hopefully, be discharged later in the day.” The more words I caught, the less frantic I was feeling. By the end of our conversation, which was rather short, my tears weren’t flowing as heavily but I still wasn’t able to settle down.

I paced the studio apartment several times before deciding to log onto Facebook and write something about how I was feeling. I didn’t think Misha wanted everyone to know just yet, or ever, so I simply made a vague post stating that a close friend and her daughter were hit by a car and that they needed prayers and thoughts of healing. Not too obvious but anyone who knew Misha would know it was her, I was sure of it. Not too long after hitting the “post” button did two other friends, Mary and Melody, know exactly who it was and Melody quickly sent me the official article that was posted, hours ago, about the accident. I hadn’t even thought to see if there was already anything in the news. I pushed my glasses up the bridge of my nose and began reading. According to the news report, both Misha and Colleen were in critical care and fighting for their lives. Even though I knew this to be false, and that they were both ok, it had me freaking out all over again. I read on, though, wanting more information. I found a couple of other articles on Facebook along with a few photos. They all stated different excuses for why the driver hit Misha. “I bet he was texting and made a whole slew of excuses as to not get in trouble.” I said, angrily, to Ramsey. I kept reading the article over and over, thinking I had missed something. “The driver was a nineteen year old girl who had friends in the car. The driver didn’t see the woman crossing in the cross walk but the passengers all saw her and tried to warn the driver when it was too late. The driver didn’t even stop until her windshield was broken from the impact of the child’s body.” I kept imagining little Colleen’s body, smashing into the window then rolling to the ground. I didn’t want to read any more of what was said but I couldn’t help it. It was drawing me to it. And seeing those pictures. One of them was actually of Misha lying in the road, bloody and broken, underneath the car. Another photo showed the medical personal putting Colleen in the ambulance.

I then began reading the comments. “She deserved to be hit, she’s a horrible mother.” “She obviously didn’t love her child if she put her in that much danger.” “She doesn’t deserve to be a mother.” I was furious with every comment I read. My face was getting hot, I felt the world getting darker and the sounds of the big city were growing farther away. They had no idea what the situation was or what kind of mother she was. How could they be so harsh without having all of the facts or without knowing what kind of person she truly is? No one deserves what happened to Misha, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, not even my worst enemy. She was the best mom I knew, she was my best friend. I kept thinking, “I can’t lose her, I just can’t lose my best friend. I still need her in my life. She doesn’t deserve to die. She needs to be here for her daughter.”

I finally realized I was blacking out, as I was standing for a long time with my knees locked and hadn’t had a lot to drink. I quickly headed for the bed, where I had a collage of photos, several with Misha in them. I zoned out while staring at them, replaying the memories in my head. “What if memories are all I have left?” I stared at the pictures of us so happy. There we were on the school bus, her red hair was flowing because all of the windows were down. Another one of us, my favorite, was taken outside the theater while we were in line waiting for the premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. We had just graduated a couple months before that, and Misha still had short hair from when she donated it all to Locks of Love. I still had braces and my hair was dark from when I decided to dye it brown. The most recent picture was taken when Misha spent a week with us over the summer. We did so much in that week; we took the metro for the first time, I got my first real sunburn from our time at the beach, we went to an AMC movie theater where they have reclining chairs instead of the uncomfortable ones we usually sat in. The picture was from our time on the Metro, Misha was making an “Oh my gosh, we’re going to get lost on this thing!” kind of face and I was just reading the maps to figure out where we were and where we needed to be. I didn’t want to scare her but we really could be lost already and we had only left ten minutes ago.

I was deep in thought when the sound of the door shutting made me jump. My husband, Philip, was home and he sat next to me as I burst into tears again, explaining exactly what had happened and how I was feeling. He just held me as I sobbed in his arms. My best friend was, according to the articles, near death and I wasn’t there. She could be dead by now. I would hope that someone would have contacted me but I knew that there would be so many other things to worry about. “Tara, how about we take a walk. Maybe get some fresh air. I think getting out of the house would do some good for your mind.”

I agreed on taking a walk so I slowly got up and got dressed. I felt so depressed and like a horrible friend for not rushing to Misha’s side. However, driving that far alone for the first time and in this weather in my state of mind would not have been the best idea. Melody was the one who pointed out how stupid it would be. “We don’t need another person in the hospital.” She was right, I needed to wait. Philip and I would just drive up there after he got off of work on Friday afternoon and head that way. I needed patience. All I could do was pray that she and Colleen would heal and that they would be ok in the end. I knew it would be, Misha was a strong woman, as was Colleen. They had wonderful people to be there for them and the support of many more.

As always, thank you for coming to my blog. I hope you have a great day!

EDIT (Feb 8, 2017): I am posting my classmates’ comments below.

“Some people get an education without going to college. The rest get it after they get out.” ―Mark Twain

Many people now-a-days have attended, are attending, or will be attending college. I didn’t always know that I would go to college nor did I ever know what college I would be going to. It wasn’t until high school that I really thought about college. You’re entire high school career, people talk about all of these colleges and all these different majors that you can choose from. I remember in 8th grade we actually had a representative from FIDM come and talk to my class. I was really interested in FIDM for a short couple of hours but realized it was a dead dream pretty quickly. Starting in 9th grade, I developed a love for BYU Idaho. Yes, BYU is such a “typical Mormon” school and maybe that’s what was pulling me towards it. I had no idea what I wanted to do in college, though.

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 3.06.30 PM.pngIn 10th grade, I moved to Missouri and decided that I wanted to be a OB/GYN and go to Missou or maybe to the small college in West Plains. Really it was whatever my soon-to-be scholarship would pay for. Sadly, after the death of my grandparents, I had to move back to California for 11th and 12th grade. By Senior year, I had it in my head that I wasn’t good enough to go to a university. I wasn’t a straight A student, I didn’t have a lot of extracurricular activities under my belt, and I didn’t have the means to afford the tuition. I finally settled with the community college and picked English as my major because it was my favorite subject. I never took the SAT or ACT because I felt that I would do too poorly on it anyways, nor was it needed to get into a community college. I got in, not that FCC declines many people (if any). I took classes and found what I really wanted to major in: Child Development. It wasn’t until my 3rd semester that I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my degree when I got it. My goal was to one day own my own daycare and maybe teach Child Development in college when I’m older.

screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-3-05-03-pmWhy do I tell you this? Because college is hard. From dealing with parents’ thoughts about college and your major, to picking your field, to paying for college and choosing where you will live. Some parents force a specific college down their child’s throat from their birth and they don’t really have a say in where they go to school or even what they want to do career wise. Others have family that tells them that college is a waste and that nobody really goes to college, that it’s all a scam. Then there are other families that tell you that your passion is pointless to pursue because you won’t make any money and that you should become a nurse.

screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-3-03-41-pmI cannot tell you too much about how living in a dorm is but I have had experiences living in a two bedroom apartment with a complete stranger. It was kind of like living in a dorm and I really got along with my roommate. We shared food and makeup and we went places. in my car. I even went to her graduation and helped her move out into her new apartment. I might even do a post on my experience in that living situation sometime.

Anyway, I want you all to know ten things that I was not told while growing up.

  1. You are good enough to apply for a university
  2. It’s ok to go to a city college and transfer to a university
  3. You don’t have to pick your major during your first year of college
  4. Focus on doing your general education that first year
  5. Your passion absolutely can become your career, it’s not about the money it’s about loving what you do every day
  6. There are many ways to pay for college, it can be affordable
  7. It’s ok to apply at a bunch of schools
  8. Start thinking about college earlier
  9. You can still stay friends with your high school buddies but graduation will change how your relationships are. I’ve lost some friends and gotten closer to others.
  10. Just be yourself. Don’t change who you are just because you feel like you need to be something different in college.

I also want to include 10 resources that you may find helpful. I have used some of them.

  1. Go here to apply for FAFSA
  2. The 10 best sites to look for scholarships
  3. List of colleges in the US (this is not every college in the US)
  4. Resources for College Students
  5. Getting Textbooks from Chegg (I’ve used this one often)
  6. 31 Things You Need To Know About College
  7. You’ll get lost so you’ll need a map
  8. 50 Things Every College Student Should Experience At Least Once
  9. How to Deal with Homesickness Freshman Year
  10. Ten Common Problems Students Face in College

I hope my tips and resources help you or someone you know that is in college. If you have anything you would like to add, please comment below.

As always, thank you for reading. Click follow to read more from me!