Friday, July 6, 2012

Plans

If you want to see God laugh, make a plan.

-Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper


I've heard this before, or at least things similar to it, but hearing it never really resonated with me, until reading My Sister's Keeper this last week and coming upon this specific version of it.

Had you asked me five months ago about my plans for the latter part of the year 2012, and in that case, the next four and a half years of my life, I would have told you one thing. This thing would have been very specific, as if I knew what I wanted overall, but then the details came. Many of the details I didn't know, and didn't care enough about to figure out. Some of the details I didn't know were simply because I wasn't ready to put the effort in to figure them out, mostly out of fear that I would be disappointed. If I ignored the hard details, they would somehow figure themselves out, right?

I have often thought about the fun that I would have if someone followed me around all day, every day. Whether it be an identical twin, a personal assistant, or a elf on my shoulder, I would appreciate it greatly. I've found many times in my life things just so ironic that I can't help but laugh at myself, the situation, or life in general. And usually, when explaining it to outside parties - i.e., not myself - they don't usually see the humor/irony/enjoyment in it at all. Hence why having a permanent life elf (henceforth referred to as PLE) would be great.

At this point, I would need my PLE to have a good memory. Precisely, she (PLEs are always shes) would need to remember clear back to September 22, 2011. The date on which I applied to an in state institution of higher education. Though I hadn't applied to any of the other colleges I would eventually, I knew that this school was my last choice, and if anything, I was only applying to satiate the feelings of others. It wasn't even free to apply. But, applying didn't take that long and there were no essays involved, so there's that.

Fast forward a few months, several hundred hours spent on applications, essays, meetings, discussions with random people about my future, and hours and hours of worrying, I had my acceptance letters from the eight schools I applied to. I thought for sure that applying to eight schools would make the decision that much easier, for if one school didn't give me enough money, another would surely make up for where the others lacked. (PLE would be laughing at how absurdly wrong that statement is now.)

Had you asked me five weeks about about my plans for the latter part of the year 2012, and in that case, the next four and a half years of my life, I would have told you something completely different. I am about eight weeks into having made this decision that was absurdly different than what I had planned for myself, and I can tell you that it feels good to be eight weeks into it. I spent a lot of the first week telling myself that it was for the best, and time would pass quickly, and I am not the first one to go through this and have to have my mind changed for me. I have mulled it over, thought about my decisions in every which way possible, and have come to the conclusion that it is the best place for me to be right now, simply due to the fact that it's the only place that I am right now.

Late March. Seven out of eight letters were happy ones, and money came from all the schools. I will now be discussing only the seven schools, because I don't care to any longer give the time of day to the school that had the audacity to reject me. (I can act like they would have given me enough money to even consider attending, because schools these days act like kids want to pay absurd amounts of money to attend.)

Of the seven:

  • - five were private schools.
  • - seven bestowed on me some sort of loan documentation.
  • - three invited me into their honors program.
  • - six gave me money just to give money - grants, scholarships, charity - one and the same really. 
  • - one sent me a hat, inviting me into their cold climate.
  • - six were out of state.
  • - only ONE was an in-state university. (PLE is laughing right now.)

American University estimated cost of attendance for the 2012-2013 year: $55,353
Arizona State University estimated cost of attendance for the 2012-2013 year: $25,860


Not only is it less than half of the cost, but the state of Arizona has done something favorable in the realm of education, which is paying for my tuition due to the fact that I breathed through the state's standardized tests and placed in the highest of four grading margins. (As per reading this map, you can see that Arizona is not at all like me, and placed in the lowest grading margin based on its schooling. Way to go, AZ.) I can't say it was the hardest thing to get them to pay my tuition, that is for sure.

I've been told "the cream always rises to the top" and "it is what you make of it" more times than I can count. And though it isn't the situation that I believed I would be in six years ago, six months ago, or even six weeks ago, I know this is where my life was supposed to go. I realize that there are people having problems in the world, and not only do I have anything close to what some people have going on, I am lucky to be getting a college education, to be getting about half of the total cost paid for, and will be studying something that I know is right for me, and if all else, I may enjoy learning about it.

If there is something I've taken away from this (because I believe that one should probably take something away from every situation, otherwise, what good is having situations at all?) it is...

...at any given moment in life, I am exactly at the place where I was meant to be, need to be, and ultimately, want to be.

...plans are great to have, but now seem more like suggestions.

As I am writing this, I am imagining my plans for the future, which after reading this post - which I hope you have done fully, and not just jumped to the end for the ever-poetic lesson that always comes at the end of my posts, because I know that's what people come here for - may seem silly. Perhaps because the future is closer than it has ever been, perhaps because I have more concrete plans laid out than I ever had before, perhaps just because I am leaning into it, I am excited for the future.

And yet, after all that, here I am. Making more plans than I did previously, mainly because I am excited. But if these plans end up just being plans instead of what really happens, then maybe what I've taken from this is that I may just be a little more prepared when they do decide to just stay as plans.


This plan isn't happening, but that's not to say that I am any less happy about what will be happening. 
Also, I was cold. So there's a plus. 


2 comments:

  1. All your plans will happen. Just be patient. :)

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  2. Laura,

    Somehow I just discovered your blog (even though you follow mine). I loved this post. I also chose to go to a State University where they paid for me to go, and I loved every single minute of it. Now I have no school loans (from Undergrad) and I am so completely happy about that. It didn't seem to hurt my chances of getting into grad school or really in any other way of life so far. Good for you for making a decision that was right for you & for accepting it so gracefully! Plus, your school totally rocks. I would know:) I miss you guys & love reading this. xoxo

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