I'm one of the major life change club members checking in, Vegas Ma'am. Earlier this year I was laid off from a start-up company, due to their restructuring. Prior to that, I held an administrative management position for seven years at another company. I did my best to combine grueling 40+ hour workweeks with attending college at night in Southern California, but my life lost its luster. I was stressed to the limit and just going through the motions of living. Work interfered with school, and school interfered with work! My reality was a "Catch 22" -- a burnt-out college student with a colorful academic record and a disgruntled employee sans vigor.
When I was laid off I considered it a mixed blessing, perhaps an omen, and decided to make a change for the better. Within the space of 10 days I moved my furniture into storage, put my two cats (and everything else that would fit) in my car, and headed north. Leaving my birthplace -- my safety-zone of Orange County -- was a huge step for me to take. I'd never lived anywhere else, and never knew instability until now.
I chose this area for several reasons, not the least of which is being blessed with a support group of good friends who have flocked here over the years. It's also the home of the a great nursing school, which had been highly recommended to me. I've spent a lot of time considering what career would suit me best, and nursing has kept floating to the top. This was reinforced by a part-time weekend job I had as a Nurse Trainee and Customer Service Coordinator for a veterinary hospital. Because of my administrative skills, the vet and her husband encouraged me to become a Hospital Director for them, but I knew I was much more suited for hands-on nursing than handling the administrative side of the business. I truly developed a love for the compassion of nursing and technical knowledge I acquired on a daily basis. I also learned that I am able to transition my skills, and have an aptitude and passion for human nursing.
Right now my most earnest desire is to attend school full-time and not have to worry about finances. As noted above, I've tried it the other way and it just doesn't work for me. I have accumulated some debt and am concerned about being able to continue making payments with whatever form of financial aid, scholarships and/or student loans are available to me. I may gain some clinic experience in the form of a part-time job, but I do not wish to depend on that for my income. I'm fortunately able to collect unemployment right now...but that doesn't last forever; just six more weeks. I'm in the process of applying for "special circumstances" financial aid through schoool and have sent out letters to almost 100 organizations for grants and scholarships...nothing thus far.
I consider education to be an investment in myself and my future, so I'm not opposed to taking out (and being responsible for) loans; although I have to admit I'm a little worred about my credit worthiness. It is of utmost importance to me to get on with my life and fulfill my ambition to be the best student and future nurse I can be. The classes ahead of me are challenging and I am one of those people who needs to put her nose to the grindstone. I'm not a stellar student (see C Student thread), but really want to do well in this phase of my schooling.
The stress of this is paralyzing! :stone Sorry this is so long and thanks for listening to be vent!