The title explains that this is a story of higher education; but more than that, my journey to get here. This true tale of my personal and educational history will help you to understand my convictions, beliefs, passions and weaknesses. I hope it inspires, enlightens or at the very least, amuses you.
Part Four – Back to Work: The Temporary Fix
I came home from Mansfield University to pursue a more affordable option. Nothing would be affordable, however, without an income. The first call I made after coming home was to my job at the theme park. At that point during the year they only had a few weeks left before they started opening for just nights and weekends. I continued to work there during that time while I looked for more work. I needed to be able to have enough income to pay for gas, car insurance, cell phone, etc. in addition to saving up for education and books.
In October of 2012, I worked a temp job at a warehouse during the week and the theme park on nights and weekends. After the temp position ended I worked a few odd jobs such as babysitting, freelance writing, and transcribing. My main source of income, however, remained the theme park, as they – much to my surprise – continued to provide me with hours throughout the off season.
Come summer of 2013, I worked at the theme park some more, the zoo adjacent to the theme park, and a little later on, the stadium they own. The seemingly endless number of early mornings and late nights provided me with some really nice paychecks for a kid my age. They only got nicer as the year went on, because I am fortunate and pleased to say that I just went through a series of promotions throughout the last nine months.
Finally, working all sorts of crazy hours at a well-paying job had allowed me to make some progress with my education. I enrolled in an Associate to Bachelors Broadcast Communication program at the local community college in conjunction with York College of Pennsylvania (a state school close enough to commute to). I started taking some online classes for this program last fall. I’m only going part time right now, but I took out no loans, no grants – no financial aid of any kind – paid completely out of pocket for my classes and books and did it completely on my own.
At my current pace, it will take me a good long time to graduate. (But I’m not going to be staying at my current pace.) When I graduate, however, I will have no debt, and have saved up enough money over the cost of school that I will be able to start my life after graduation with some money in the bank.
Sounds like it’s all figured out, huh? Not quite. Stay tuned… more twists and turns to come.