Today I dropped out of GCO University.
I had to make the decision two weeks ago. It wasn't as easy as typing this post. (And believe me, typing this post isn't easy either. It's humiliating.) I cried for about two hours straight, I begged God to work some miracle that would allow me to stay enrolled, and I made myself sick with grieving. Then I mentally berated myself for being such a baby and got over it. I guess it's one of the more difficult lessons in growing up, learning to at least act okay even when your world is crumbling.
This post could easily turn into a long whine, a cry for the injustice of life. I'm going to try to keep that from happening.
GCU changed their policies on financial aid students. My original plan was to pay for my education in part, and fill in the gap with scholarships. But due to some changes our country is taking in the financial realm, GCU can no longer allow that. Their policy is that all financial aid students must be completely financial aid. Either you completely pay for your education -- up front cash. Or you completely rely on scholarships, grants, and student loans. You can't have scholarships and up-front cash.
My choice was either to drop out or to get a loan. There is no way I could afford to pay up-front the completely expense. I talked a lot with people older and wiser than me, and while loans seem so innocent, I can't bring myself to get one. I've seen too much bad come of them.
So that brings me to where I am now. A University drop-out. It has such a lovely, loser ring to it.
I've come to grips with the fact that my life is never normal -- nor will it ever be -- and the things I want never come easy. But I'm not going to mope. (And if I ever do, remind me that I said I wasn't going to.) I'm going to keep fighting, because more than anything I want this. College can't evade me so easily.
I actually do have a back-up plan for University (actually an in-state one which I will attend) -- but it involves another year of waiting, saving, hoping something will go right for a change. I'm holding on to it like a raft at the moment... putting all my effort into praying for it, working toward it, testing out to see if it will hold. (If you're family or a close friend, feel free to ask about it so you can pray too.)
My pride has taken a blow to the head. That's a good thing. Everytime someone asks me if I'm in college and I say, "No," it's going to throb. But I need to be reminded that I'm fallible, and that my plans for myself don't always equal God's plans for me. I really don't want to go to University and be two years older than the rest of my classmates. But God apparently doesn't take my ego into consideration, and I'm so glad for that.
In a sense, my life is exciting, because it never follows the worn trails. No, I get hauled off into impromptu trips across the ocean, meet people who ask my hand in marriage before knowing me 2 hours, survive hurricanes and weeks without electricity. Sometimes I want a little bit of predictability. But, I have to admit, it may make for a great book someday. So I won't complain. Or mope. (Keep reminding me.)
Part of growing up is accepting life as it is, no refunds. We're all victims of circumstance, when you think about it, and we probably all have reasons to hate it. In one of my university class discussions several weeks ago, I made the observation that success should be measured in terms of effort, and not end result. At the moment I can't see what the point was in my all-too-short experience of University. I'm sure there was one, and in a bittersweet way, I'm not sorry that I had at least six weeks.
For now, I learn. Not in University, no. But I learn how to work harder, to hope stronger, and to trust my God. And for now, that is enough.