Day 12 – Describe a great day (real or imagined)
One of the best days of my life was back in 2007 when I found out that I had received a financial aid package that was going to be enough to quit my job and focus on my education full-time. Up until that point, I had been attending the local community college and working, which was challenging to say the least, especially since I was also a single mom for most of that time. I would not have made it without my mother, who my daughter and I were living with at the time and who always did anything she could to help me.
My mother came with me to attend the orientation/open house for UNC-Greensboro, the university I would be transferring to, and it made me cry. I knew that I would never be able to take advantage of most of the offerings there because I was still going to have to work almost full-time to afford anything and probably have to carry a full course load as well in order to finish my degree or to qualify for even the slightest bit of financial aid. It was as if I was looking through a window at these golden opportunities and wasn’t able to reach them.
A few days later, I received my answer back from FAFSA. Turns out being a poor, single mom with perfect grades (I graduated both schools with a 4.0 GPA) makes the financial aid people give you money. It wasn’t a fortune by any means, but it was enough to not only afford full tuition, but to be able to quit my full-time job at the law firm and focus solely on my education. It was as if that window had suddenly become a door that was open wide, welcoming me inside. The possibilities suddenly seemed endless.
I did end up getting a part-time job at the university library to supplement my finances (best job EVER!!!), but since it was part of the university system, they were completely understanding and flexible with my schedule.
I consider those years spent at UNCG to be the best years of my life. I felt free for the first time in a long time. I felt like I had a chance to build the life I wanted (which totally didn’t happen, but it was a nice feeling in the moment). And it all started that one day with a FAFSA letter.