Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Life changes and the worst phrase EVER

So what’s going on in my life right now and is making me want to plan comfort food like Chicken Nachos for supper every night?

nachos 025

Well, here’s a story for you.

If you’ve been reading my blog for over a year, then you know that this past fall I made the decision to go back to college and finish my degree. College was never easy for me, and I always had a hard time staying focused. Early on, my grades would end up being two As, a B, and a F. I just kept spreading myself thin. I was one of those people who had to have a job while in school, and of course, I was boy crazy. I would skip classes ALL THE TIME. Oh it’s raining? Skip class. Oh you want to go have a long lunch? Skip class. Oh the beach is only 5 minutes away from my house? Skip class. I ended up taking a semester off, then a year off.

In that year I met Parrish. Coolest boyfriend (now hubby) ever. He was older (by two years) and had just gotten back from AmeriCorps. He was focused and fun, and he rubbed off on me. That fall, I was determined to return to school and do well, even though I still had a full-time job.

And return I did! It was amazing. I no longer had trouble being a good student, and I was making straight As in all my classes. We were 3/4 of the way through the semester, and I couldn’t have been more excited. I could do college; it wasn’t impossible.

Then in October of that year, Parrish and I were witnesses to a murder – suicide, and my entire world fell apart. I would cry…pretty much all the time. I couldn’t go outside after dark. I couldn’t be in loud rooms. I had frequent panic attacks, which by the way, they should call panic heart attacks, because that’s what they feel like! A week later I broke down crying in my one of my classes and was mortified. I couldn’t hold it together AT ALL. My professors felt badly for me, and so we decided it would be best to just take incompletes in all four classes and finish over the next year.

Yeah I didn’t finish. It took over three years for me to even BEGIN to feel like myself again. I honestly didn’t know that PTSD could happen to me, but it did. It took moving away from Wilmington to really start healing. But I’ll be honest and tell you that even today, I can watch something scary on TV and get in the wrong frame of mind. When that happens I can’t go outside after dark again, so the lesson there: don’t watch scary stuff on TV.

5 yr


I moved! Parrish and I bought a house! We got married! I started this blog! I was hired as an Assistant Director of a non-profit! Life moved on.

But that degree sat.

It sat in the back of my mind and made me feel like a quitter. It felt like something I could never finish, but wanted to so badly.

Lucky for me, I have an amazing hubby who pushed me and supported me. And with his help, I enrolled last fall. I started with three classes last semester.


Umm, three classes on top of a full-time (read 45 hrs. a week minimum) job during the busiest time of year for us? Oh and let’s get a second dog that needs to be trained on top of that. GOODBYE any glimmer of a social life. HELLO non-traditional student.

But I did it. Remember? Straight A’s. I kicked that semester’s booty. And I registered for two classes this semester. I was so excited. This plan was going to work! Then I got a piece of mail that made me…confused.


Who knew that this phrase could actually ruin my life?

Dramatic? Yeah, probably. But honestly for the past two weeks that is how I’ve felt.

The NC tuition surcharge states that if it takes a student longer than 5 years or 140 attempted credit hours to finish a 4 year degree, then that student will have to begin paying a tuition surcharge/ tuition and a half. So if your tuition is $2,000, you will now be paying $3,000.


My take it slow plan was no longer going to work. Parrish and I couldn’t afford to pay tuition and a half. We barely eeked out tuition. PLUS it just doesn’t make financial sense to pay SO MUCH for a degree from UNCW. Right?!

Here’s the kicker.

I only have SEVEN classes left. SEVEN little classes, and I will graduate. SEVEN.

But wait for it.

NONE of those SEVEN classes are offered online. Not. A. One.

And no my friends, I can’t transfer. The one school that I have now looked into, would need 18 additional credits on top of my seven. Boo. Transferring when you’re so close is just not an option.

But remember…I don’t live in Wilmington. I have a full-time job with a LOAD of responsibility. I love my life here in Durham.

What am I going to do?

Well, I’ll tell you the NEW plan tomorrow. And today I’m just thankful for meal planning, because otherwise I would be eating nachos every night of the week!