Actually, I'm not going to college. So, why do I have a headache after spending an hour or so filling out an online application form to pay for my oldest daughter's college education? I'm certain I should have done this a very long time ago, and perhaps then I would not be running into trouble whilst the site says to me "your name does not exactly match the name on your master promissory note". Which it DOES, indeed. Because, I KNOW MY NAME! And guess what? I went to college. Earned a degree and everything. So, I do not appreciate being dragged back into the red tape that is "paying for college" and getting a headache in the process.
A good mommy would have done all of this by now. A good mommy would know exactly how much their eldest child's education was going to cost, and have a large stockpile of money to cover that cost. But, alas, bad mommy strikes again and I do not have such funds, nor the brain capacity to comprehend everything that is "going to college" these days.
For one thing......I had a very different college experience than my daughter is going to have. I went to community college, then a university, and paid for most of it along the way, getting loans the last year. Actually, my parents got a loan on my behalf, and ten years after I graduated, I found out my dad was still paying $101.50 a month. TEN YEARS!!! I said, "Dad, really...." and took the payment book (haha how much does that date me? Remember payment books? And coupons you tore out once a month to send in with your payment). I paid off the loan in short order, because, by that time, I was an adult. And had children! For goodness sake.
But how else to pay for college? Unless you're lucky enough to have a trust fund or rich grandparents, or both, I don't know anyone who can afford to outright pay for college. So, we get loans. Or we try to, until the stupid computer system tells us we don't know our own name. Which we DO!
So, not only do I have NO clue how much college is going to cost (except we did get this one letter, which I just found tonight on my daughter's bedroom floor, that contained some numbers which I'm pretty sure are important), but I don't feel like I'm ready at ALL to send her off to college.
I'm not talking about "oh, she's so grown up" and "I'm going to miss her", although I most certainly will. I'm talking about the fact that I've bought her bedding but not books, towels but not tape, storage containers but not scissors. Every day I think of things she will need. Like bandaids and cough medicine. And a stapler. Important stuff!
School starts for the other kids in less than three weeks and I have not purchased so much as a ream of college-ruled paper. No supplies, no clothing, no new shoes. I guess it's my way of rebelling against the LAME summer we've had. It's just now getting nice out on a consistent basis and the kids are up the their eyeballs in camps until school starts. So much for all those beach and park trips I envisioned. So, I say screw school shopping. We have a couple of weeks left.
But this college thing.......it's not going away! At some point, they are going to REQUIRE me to pay them a large sum of money that I do not have. And so, I will have to quickly conjure up an alternative source. I gave it a gallant attempt tonight, but, honestly, it might be easier to sell one of my offspring, or pawn my old wedding ring to pay for the books, the tuition, the room and board. Holy COW is that stuff expensive! We're talking premium rent for a tiny, stuffy room and a few squares a day.
So, I continue on in my fog of uncertainty. I stare in confusion at those parents who have it all figured out. Those parents who spent a ton of money on SAT prep courses, college visits across several time zones, a $175 an hour college "consultant", those parents who actually went to the orientation. I meant to go, I really did, but we had a trip scheduled and I didn't find out about the conflict until it was too late. So, I missed out on what was apparently the meaning of life and the location of the holy grail by not attending the orientation. All I got was a logo bag filled with more paperwork that filled my brain with too much information.
But, boy, it's a good thing I got MY college degree! It made me so smart..............