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Monday, October 20, 2008

Ok, so a few updates.

Ok, so this post may seem kind of whiny, or just sad, but I'm honestly not trying to complain. And please, don't feel bad for me. I'm enjoying myself, lol.

Now that the warning is out of the way, let me tell you about what has been going on. I have been working non-stop since I got a job at BraVo's restuarant. I don't know if I mentioned that in my last blog or not. Anyway, about a month or two ago, I got my first waitressing job ever. I was really nervous about it, but it's turned out absolutely wonderful. I make a ton of money (I made around $80 in tips over the lunch shift today), it's not a difficult job at all, and I get to spend a lot of time with people and food. I love food, lol. So, I've been working non-stop, and that's a good thing.

A bad thing is I've been doing poorly in school. When I say poorly, I don't think it really gets the point across. Basically I haven't been to class since I started working. I found out that working, going to class, and having friends aren't something that you can do all at once. So, I decided to try all three and failed miserably. But I have figured out a way to get through this year without completely alienating myself from my family. I won't be able to pass classes this semester, but I will pay for the classes, withdraw, so the grades won't hurt my GPA, and then I'll go to basic training next semester. After I go to basic I won't have to worry about paying for classes, the army does that, and no one will know that I didn't pass this semester.

I also decided, that after I finish basic training, I'm going to go to school in Minneapolis instead of staying at South Dakota State. Not only will it be nice to be in a big city again, I'll also be away from my friends, so I won't have the temptation to shirk my responsibilities. Oh, and last but not least, my unit is in Minneapolis, so if I live there, I won't have to take a six hour road trip to get to my monthly training.

So, now that that's all decided, I just have to figure out what I want to study. That may take a while.

I'm also trying to find a place to live, and I'm also failing miserably at that. My best friend had invited me to stay on her couch until I was able to find a place, but nothing is available. I found a place to live, but I couldn't find any roommates that could stay with me. And after I gave up the search for roommates, I couldn't find a place that needed an extra person. So, I ended up staying on my friend's couch for around two months.

Well, I tried to stay with other friends as much as possible, so I wouldn't be dominating their couch for two months straight, so in actuality I probably stayed a total of one month. Well, one day I went inside to grab something and my friend tells me that her and her roommates talked it over and they wanted me to pay rent for the time I had spent there. I had already considered paying something because I was using their utilities and stuff, so I asked how much they wanted and she said $300. Now, this is a ridiculous amount because they only pay $200 a month, I had already helped them with the cable and internet bills, I had only stayed the night at the apartment for about a month, and I didn't have my own room or any privacy. If I'm going to pay as much as they pay a month, I had better have my own room that I can shut them out of whenever I want. It was completely ridiculous. And then she said she needed me out of the place by the 15th. So, I said forget it, I'm not paying anything and I'll get my stuff out of here tomorrow. I was so angry with her.

So, then we got in a fight over it and I no longer have a best friend. Well, I no longer have that best friend, anyway. The only thing that upsets me is that she can do math as well as I can. If I can figure out that $300 is ridiculous, so can she and she was trying to take advantage of the hospitality that she offered. She's supposed to be my best friend, she should be trying to stop people that want to take advantage of me, not trying to take advantage of me herself. So, at the moment, I'm living in my car. I actually enjoy it, lol. It's the most privacy I've had in the past 2 months, lol. Besides, I have plenty of blankets and if I get too cold, I can always turn the heater on for a little while. And I'm the only homeless person I know that makes a crap ton of money, lol. I think even if I do find a place anytime soon, I won't be able to move in because I'll have to move out at the end of this semester anyway. But like I said, it's actually kind of fun, so I'm not too worried about it. It's just like camping, except better. :P

Anyway, that's about it for news, so I had better get going.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Secret life of an American College Student

Hey, y'all. So, I haven't written anything in a while. I've been kind of stressed trying to figure out my classes and everything. Apparently, deciding to enroll in classes the week before they start doesn't leave much choice in which classes are available. Especially since there are more freshman in attendance since... probably ever. They changed the day rooms (living rooms, basically) into four person dorms and they're even renting hotel rooms for students. And since I fall into the freshman category, that leaves my class options around slim to none. Plus, I haven't been able to meet with my admissions advisor. We're playing this annoying game of tag. We'll set up a time to meet and in the beginning, I had a hard time showing up, but for the past couple of times, it's been her that hasn't been there. I don't know if anyone knows how signing up for classes work, but I will tell you. At SDSU we go to a website called WebAdvisor and we sign up for our own classes, that way we can work out our own schedules without having to argue with anyone about it. Well, if all the classes are full, you're pretty much screwed, but that's where your advisor comes in. They can get you into classes that are full and approve you for classes that WebAdvisor doesn't. (If classes overlap by 10 minutes, or if you don't have all the prerequisites filled, for example.) Well, since all the classes I need to take are full, I need to meet with my advisor and since I haven't been able to meet with my advisor, I can't sign up for any classes. The last day of registration is the 11th, so I still have quite a bit of time, but I'd rather get it done as soon as possible instead of waiting till the last second.

My main problem is having to stick to the same 5 classes that I took last semester. I've been communicating with my advisor through email and she told me that I need to take the same 5 classes so I can get my GPA to an acceptable score. (Since I left school early last semester, all my classes went in as a failing grade, which means GPA = shit.) This is where it gets kind of messy. Since I still might be approved for a withdrawal from last semester, I may not have to worry about my GPA, but if I don't get approved for it, I need to bring my GPA up so I don't get put under academic suspension next semester. Which means they suspend me from taking classes for a year. Now, I can't get suspended from school since the only reason I'm not in basic training right now is because I'm supposed to be in school. What happens if I get suspended? I already have my ship date for basic... do they push it up? Do I get punished in the military for not doing well in school? I have no idea. That's a big scary thought that I don't want to deal with right now. (This reminds me, I need to talk about the army still! But I'll do it after this.)

More messiness... my best friend practically failed last semester as well. By all rights he should be under academic suspension right now, but he's not. They say he's not because he didn't take out any student loans. Well, I don't have any student loans, so can they really put me on academic suspension? Although, another problem is I need to take out student loans this year. One, because the army pays for previous student loans up to $20,000. Two, because I don't have any money to pay for classes. So, if I take out student loans, will they put me on academic suspension next semester?? Gah, it's so confusing. This is all why I need to talk to my advisor, but she's MIA and it's driving me crazy. It would be so much easier if I could take the classes that I need to retake next semester, but I don't know if I can because I don't know if they'll let me come back to school next semester.

An idea I had that brings me hope though, since the army pays back $20,000 in student loans, that'd be enough to pay for this year and pay back my big, scary debt. My mom thinks it's wrong of me to use it like that, but I signed my life away for 8 years, I think it's the least they can do. Also, I don't think they pay back any loans that you take out while you're in the army, just loans that you accrued before you joined. Since I'm only a "future soldier", as they put it, I can still take out loans and whatnot (they're not paying me or anything at the moment, so that's the reasoning). So, I basically need to use up this $20,000 before next year and that sounds like a damn good idea to me. But I need to talk to my recruiter about that and make sure I don't get stuck with even more debt than before. But, another problem with this, if I do take out a loan and get suspended next semester, I'm still screwed.

But that's really all I can say about school life (not to be confused with personal life, I have plenty I could talk about with that, lol), so I'll move on to the army. I went to MEPS in Sioux Falls where they gave me a physical and made me take an assessment called the ASVAB. I forget what it means, lol. I just know the b = battery. Well, good news about all of that. I passed the physical and I got the highest score possible on the ASVAB. The score is based on a percentage, so if you got a 47, you scored better than 47% of people that have taken that test. I got a 99%, meaning I scored better than 99% of the folks that have taken that test... ever, lol. I asked my recruiter what the scores meant, and he said anything above a 110 was amazing. My lowest score was 121 in Mechanics, lol. I think that was just luck, because I don't know anything about cars, so whatever. My recruiter was freaking out and everything and I don't think they would have let me leave that place without signing my contract, lol. I basically got to choose what job (MOS) I wanted. The jobs available to you are based on your scores on the ASVAB. Since I scored high in everything, I could have been a mechanic if I wanted. But, I chose to be a Human Intelligence Collector. Meaning, I'm in Military Intelligence. Lol :P The guy told me that after I got to E-5 (promotion level, which is a sergeant) I'd basically be a spy, lol. I'm pretty happy with it though. I'm an E-1 private and I make more money than an E-4 specialist. :)

I'm shipping to basic June 9, 2009. I'll go to AIT (which is specific MOS training) right after basic, and I'll be training for a total of 31 weeks. After that I'll go to two days a month and two weeks during the summer. My unit (two days a month) is in Minneapolis. That's only like a 3 hour drive from Brookings, which isn't bad considering every one of my other friends drive 3 hours to Pierre for drill. And Minneapolis is way better than Pierre, so I'm happy.

As for my personal life, there isn't much going on. Just partying, hanging out with friends, misinterpreting romantic signals, lol, you know, just being a college kid. :)