Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™
SCHOOL: College I Love or College Near Family?
Hello! I need some advice. I cant decide where to go to college.. I am 23 years old and married. I want to attend a school in Oregeon (Linfield) as a dual enrollment in early childhood education and elementary education. It is a really great school and I love everything about it but it is so far, I live in Illinois, my husband and I have never lived on our own and we don't have a lot of money, we have a dog so we can't live on campus, and my husband seems less than thrilled about going there, he won't tell me why. Not to mention that Oregon is expecting a huge earthquake and tsunami; so if we die it's my fault. On the other hand is a school in Georgia (University of West Georgis). My family just moved there and love it. The day they moved I applied for school there because I was feeling very emotional and missed them. My heart is not in. I love my family and I want to be with them, but the school for a lack of better words sucks. No one ever gets back to me about anything, so how can I expect them to help me and be there for me when it is time to student teach. They only offer early childhood education with a math emphasis; I am terrible at math. It is really expesive and we would have to get 10K in outside loans, meaning high interest. I am afraid that if we don't choose to go to Georgia that my family will hate me and feel like I am abandoning them. I can only choose between these two because all the other school dealines have passed.. Also, I have to make this decision in the next two weeks. School starts in August and I need to have everything ready. If we do not move in August and live off school loans we will be homeless. My parents are selling there house and kicking us out. We both work as much as we can but they have really cut back hours and we just can't afford rent. I feel so confused and sick to my stomach. Please help!
Based upon what you've told me, Heidi, I don't think the situation is nearly as bad as you think. Try to stay focused upon what your main objective is at this point in your life. I'm assuming that objective is getting a degree in early childhood and elementary education, right? Here's what I think. Going off to the Oregon school and living off campus frankly doesn't make much economic sense. Student rents in university towns are usually very high. Both you and your husband will likely have to work as well as take on student loans, and those responsibilities will make studying that much more difficult.
I suggest that you give some serous consideration to moving to Georgia with your parents. That will keep them happy, but most importantly, it will enable you to save a whole bunch of money by not having to pay rent while you go to school. You can save even more by enrolling in a nearby public community college to get as many transferrable credits as you can - possibly as much as two years worth. Community colleges typically charge much less than four year institutions. When you've accumulated as many transferrable credits as you can, it will be time to transfer to the four year university of your choice to finish up your degree. You'll have saved a lot of money and end up with the same degree that you would have received had you started in the university.
I also wouldn't be so fast to dismiss the University of West Georgia. It isn't as bad a place as you think, at least not according to Wikipedia that reports it's been named, for the past ten years, as one of the best Southeastern schools by the Princeton Review. You may not have been treated as well as you think you should have been by their admissions office and registrar, but those are totally different departments, and people, from those that will be involved in your student teaching programs.
I hope I've been able to address some of your concerns. Try not to feel pressured by time. If you do decide to go to Georgia and enroll in a public community college, those schools are usually pretty good in allowing late enrollments and, even if you had to delay enrollment, it would only be for a few months until you could start the spring semester. Just be sure to be careful to select only those courses that would be transferrable to the university. The guidance counselors at the college can help you to make those decisions.
Thank you for giving me a chance to offer some advice. I hope it's useful. Keep us in mind whenever you'd like a bit of advice or another opinion on whatever might come up. We'll always do our best for you. If you think of it, let me know how you're doing. If you like, you could always ask for me and we can continue this conversation or go on to any other areas on which I might be able to offer some advice. I wish you and your husband the best of luck.