Monday, May 18, 2009

Now What do I do?

Stuff happens - the economic downturn has forced you to forgo summer school, cut back on the number of classes you want to take in the fall, look for alternatives for schoolbooks and minimize supplies. Now what do you do? First of all, step back, take a deep breath and reassess.

1. Summer School: In the grand scheme of things, summer school is not a must (unless you have to make up a class or have a deadline for graduation due to scholarship requirements). Summer school is a luxury. Not attending summer school will only delay your education, not make it totally go away.

2. Cut Back on Classes: As with not attending summer school, your education will only be delayed. However, if you find yourself in the situation of not being able to attend school at all due to financial constraints, I would advise at least taking one class at the local community college to keep your study and writing skills sharp. Most colleges have a deferred payment plan. Don't drop out altogether as it will be more difficult to get back into the swing of things.

Another alternative to college courses are non-credit or professional development classes. These classes are often offered by the community college or university and cost considerably less than a college course. They can still be used to keep your study skills sharp and keep you in the habit of learning.

You also might want to look into scholarship resources. Elizabeth Shepherd has a great list of scholarship resources at her site: http://non-traditional-students.blogspot.com/. Check with your advisor and at the local library (or online) for groups in your community that may give scholarships for certain portions of the learning community (working moms, descendants of Civil War veterans, etc.). You never know what categoty you may fall into!

3. Alternatives for schoolbooks: Look online at eBay, used book stores, friends of friends, etc. The only things you have to watch for are: the edition number and the excessive wear (was it really necessary for the last owner to underline or highlight the entire text??). What edition is the class using as opposed to the $2.50 edition you found on eBay? There can be some big changes from one edition to another in some textbooks. One summer, I even checked the textbook out of the library for the class I had (and had to renew it once).

4. Minimize supplies: Sales and coupons. Back to School sales on supplies are great. Also watch for coupons or specials at local office and school supply stores. Remember that if you have half-used notebooks and other supplies from previous classes to make use of those as well. "Use it up, wear it out. Make it do, do without."

Above all, DON'T PANIC! The worst that can happen is that you will have to delay your education. Unless you are under a scholarship deadline, a delay is not that bad. It may even work to your benefit.

So, now what do you do? Step back, relax, take a deep breath, and formulate Plan B. Stay tuned . . .

1 comment:

E. Sheppard said...

Thank you so much for putting my link in your article, Zickbee! I appreciate that so much.