I’m hard-pressed to say whether the past four years of school have been worth anything. Not just worth anything to me – but worth anything at all.
I’m in a mountain of debt (over $100,000, plus interest), because I’m literally the “wrong color” to receive financial help at this school outside of loans and the piddly academic scholarship I was awarded when I first began attending classes. I looked it up: if I was a black female, with exactly the same income and living situation, I would be receiving extra money to attend my school. To quote Jubal Early: “Does that seem right to you?”
Because of ONE class, even though I have a stellar GPA and have done more than my required Honors hours, I am not graduating with an Honors diploma. This is the class taught by the philosophy jackass who said that there was no such thing as a subjective viewpoint, by the way (“This can ONLY be a table!”). You bet your ass I’ve already got a fairly long email drafted up to send to the head of the Honors program about THAT idiot.
A psychology degree, particularly where I live, is nearly worthless. Uncle told me as much at the 2-A Blog Bash back in 2008, but I knew what I was doing, right? I’d waited four years to return to school, and damn it, I was going into the field I enjoyed almost as much as music. It turns out my degree in psychology is about as worthwhile as my degree in music would have been. For either one to be applicable, you have to have at least a teaching certification along with it. Preferably, you’d get a doctorate. Even then, however, you’d still be nearly unemployable, and in those situations where you’d be able to gain entrance, you’d be paid peanuts.
I tried to check my transcript this morning to be sure that I’d still be able to tell folks I had a GPA that could technically be called “an A average” (it’s in that fuzzy realm between A- and B+) and saw that there was a hold on my account.
I checked to see what the hold was, and was directed to view my student balance. Oh, look…a $75 graduation fee.
I filled out my intent to graduate form just after I got married, in late November of last year. Wouldn’t THAT have been the time to charge the fee, or at least notify me that it was coming? You know, when I was getting student loan funds in to cover things like that?
I know $75 is small potatoes to some of you, but I don’t have it. The reason is very simple: after nearly having a stroke last month, I finally got billed for the tests run, and as a result, I literally have less than $50 in my bank account, and I have no income right now. JB’s income is small because he works one day a week as a pianist at a church, and that money goes toward planned bills like car insurance and medication. We’re damned lucky we have somewhere to live right now – otherwise, we’d be fucked.
This isn’t a bleg post – I’ve been short on cash before, and I’ll be short on cash many times before I leave this world – and while I won’t argue with anyone who’d do me a kindness, as I’m not in a position to do so, this post is more about the feeling of crushing defeat I feel right now after four years of putting up with this crap.
I have a chronic condition that, while likely also genetic, was encouraged into popping up by the amount of stress I was under during the first couple of years of college. Over the past year, my condition has deteriorated to the point where I can’t even wash my face without my hands cramping and freezing (usually when I’m washing my nose, which is ridiculously random). Taking notes in class is frustrating, because I can no longer write at the rate my professors are speaking, and if I try, I get more cramps in my hands and arms, and my writing becomes illegible. My physical condition is so fragile that my insomnia no longer renders me merely slap-happy, as in the past – today, it has resulted in my entire digestive system going completely haywire, which is driving my body temperature up, among other festive, TMI-riddled things. Other days, my joints completely freeze. I’ve even had every other physical symptom of a severe allergic reaction except the difficulty breathing (for the record, I looked like a fat duck, which is hilarious in hindsight). I can’t even predict how my body’s going to react to something that happens frequently.
If I was prone to hyperbole, I would probably be able to get away with saying that attending Christian Brothers University has ruined my life. JB is, quite frankly, the only positive outcome; if I hadn’t gone to CBU, I wouldn’t have met him.
I hope I’m proven wrong in the coming months and years.
I hope that, through regular employment, I will be able to procure health insurance of a sort that will allow me to be able to afford the medications which may have more of a benefit to me than the placeholders I’m on now.
For today, with that hope in the back of my mind, I am going to take that which has been made available to me in order to sleep.
I will regroup tomorrow.