Monday, July 27, 2009

So, excited?

Freshman orientation started today at OU, which meant that I got to go sit in MemAud and happily sell a few dozen copies of the 'required' freshman English class reader, Cion. It actually went disturbingly well, especially compared to last year. Sure, it was the first day, but a girl can hope that THAT is the way things are supposed to go, right? With a wonderful lack of complaining about having to buy a book (AS IF COLLEGE IS ABOUT NOT BUYING BOOKS) or countless people INSISTING that their child tested out of Freshman English, which is a class almost no-one tests out of. Administrators can count on ONE HAND the amount of students who pass the test every year.

I wish I was joking.

The problem with orientation is that it serves as an ugly reminder that classes start soon. Of course, soon appears to be seven weeks away from tomorrow, if I am counting right. That seems really far away, but I know it will past like a dream. The little voice in my head is already starting the nagging, the quiet muttering about all the things I need to do, like review Chinese and buy notebooks and get that pink slip that I've been putting off getting and... the list goes on. The list gets particularly nasty when it gets late. My brain refuses to shut down and I lay there, curling into a ball, wishing I could look forward to next quarter without all the worrying I am living through. The 'what-if's have left me alternating between crashing hard and staying up until the wee hours, a cruel insomnia that has left me in love with streaming video on the internet. I watched the first season of Dexter a few weeks ago. At two am. Oddly, my dreams revolved around arguments, babies and cars, none of which has to do with Dexter.

It's almost amusing to see all of these people in Athens, after so many weeks of quiet. They all seem to be filled with this nervous buzz, this mixture of excitement and nerves. It's hard for me to not grab them by the shoulders, shake them and say, repeatedly, 'DO NOT TAKE 20 HOURS YOUR FIRST QUARTER!!!'

The voice of experience is always trust worthy when coming from a young blonde who is screaming in your face, right?

My nerves aren't helped by the state's current financial situation. We finally passed our budget, but they got rid of the tuition freeze (I'm expecting to hand over an additional $100 a quarter as soon as Winter Quarter), razed the Ohio College Opportunity Grant ($2496 turned into $1080 or something along those lines, and limited what institutions received that money), and... reinstated the Ohio Academic Scholarship, a scholarship I received when I graduated high school. It lost some money, but not a lot(all info I used here was taken from the Board of Regents site). But OU isn't listing the OAS until they get a formal letter from the state telling it that the OAS is being given out to students again. I had a VERY FUN TIME at the fin aid office finding this out today.

Like pretty much every other office on campus, OU's fin aid office has some student employees that they have working the front desks. This drives me INSANE, because these students are often stumped by my questions, and I'm not quite blunt enough to insist that I'd rather wait for a non-student to answer my questions. Today, I had to explain what I was asking about multiple times, explaining no less than THREE times that the OAS was a scholarship, not a grant, and NO, I was NOT talking about the OCOG. The girl had no idea what I was talking about, at all, and after about five minutes, a higher up came over and explained why the OAS wasn't on my fin aid letter. Basically, I just get to sit and wait and hope that Ohio gets those letters out before mid-August, when fall's first payment is due. If it had taken any longer for someone who actually knew what I was talking about to walk over and explain this, I probably would have ended up storming through the office, harassing people until I found someone who could answer my damn questions.

All of this has me wondering, how can anyone be excited about classes starting back up? My only saving grace right now is that I am very, very likely to be switching my degree program (or adding a third major - what's a little more insanity?) into an area that I find myself increasingly passionate about, which you'll hear all about once I've gotten everything worked out.

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