Monday, May 16, 2011

Using more than 4 years

I didn't walk yesterday.  I feel that I have failed.  College degrees are "supposed" to be finished in 4 years.  I know the majority of people at UAF don't finish in four years.  Something almost always happens.  But I know of at least two people who finished in three years!  It is demoralizing to think that I didn't.  Many people that I graduated high school with or lived with in my freshman dorm are posting pictures of graduation on facebook.  And I put on a happy face and reply "one more semester" when they ask how much longer I have.

But will it only be one more semester?  When I switched degrees to sociology from chemistry, I planned on going to nursing school.  I applied that summer to the UAA in Fairbanks program and was 19th on the wait-list, but I hadn't even finished all of the pre-req's and didn't have any other experience to help my application.  I didn't give up then.  I just decided to keep going with my sociology degree with a minor in biology.  Then I would apply again.

Later, I realized I didn't want to get my bachelor of arts in sociology and then have an associate's nursing degree.  So, I decided that I would do a bachelor of science in nursing.  It made more sense than the associate degree.  Then after talking with many, many people, I learned/discovered that there are Master's programs where you don't need to already hold an RN license.  I could finish my sociology degree and apply to these programs!

I have two schools picked out for this plan: Oregon Health and Sciences University and Marquette University.  Both would require a 1-year RN program followed by the 2-year master's program.  OHSU would give me a second bachelor's degree and the master's degree, whereas Marquette would only get me the Master's degree.

But, to throw another wrench into the plan, I just learned that I should have been getting free tuition when Britton and I became financially interdependent.  So, I figured, hey, I might as well use this and get a second degree - why not make my biology minor into a major.

Before Britton proposed to me and I learned about the free tuition, I was going to apply to the Master's programs in the fall and go in the spring.  I was going to walk at graduation in the spring, but I can't ask my parents to come to Alaska twice in one summer (the second time is for my wedding) and have all my family go to New Mexico for Michael's graduation; that's not fair to them.

I also take Britton in consideration.  He's getting into something he really likes - hockey.  He has an amazing job that he enjoys too.  He is nervous about moving away, especially if he doesn't already have a job lined up.  I don't know that I want to live away from him, although I think I could really focus on nursing school if I did live in a different state.  It would only make our relationship stronger.  We have enough trust in each other.

So do I?:

#1: Get the sociology degree in December and apply to Nursing School.
Pros: It's the original plan.  I'd complete my nursing goals. not the shortest plan, but gets me the most for my time.  
Cons: nursing school is expensive. moving is expensive. 

#2: Stick around UAF for another year and double major and then go to nursing school
Pros: double majoring in biology and sociology may make me a stronger candidate.  the next year or two at UAF would be free.  it allows Britton to stay in Fairbanks without worry of moving for another 2 years. 
Cons: it's the longest option. nursing school is expensive. moving is expensive. my current loans will continue to build interest until I'm done

#3: Stick around UAF for another year and double major and get the hell out of school
Pros: I'd be done with school in 6 years with 2 degrees.  
Cons:  nursing school goal is incomplete.  don't know if I could get a job doing something I like.  I'm stuck in Fairbanks for an unknown amount of time.  

#4: Get the sociology degree in December and get the hell out of school
Pros: no more school!  Allows Britton to stay in Fairbanks without worry of moving.  
Cons: have to pay back loans sooner, don't know if I could get a job doing something I like.  I'm stuck in Fairbanks for an unknown amount of time.  

Friday, May 6, 2011


Last night, on my 22nd birthday, Britton asked me to marry him!!

We went to dinner at Boston's because I really wanted the steak skewers they serve as an appetizer.  Since it was my birthday, I had a huge mango margarita!  For dinner I had the twisted mac and cheese with italian sausage and he had the pepperoni supreme pizza.   They brought us brownies and ice cream and sang to me :)  the German guys who were sitting at the table near us clapped really loud and yelled at the end; it was great!  Britton said the guys were eyeing my drink, but I didn't hand it over.

After dinner, it was too late to stop at his favorite car wash, so we just headed home.  I kept saying that I needed to use the bathroom and to go finish my paper, but didn't feel like getting out of the car.  He decided to just do it there.  He pulled the ring out of the center console of his car.  As he was untying the ribbon, he said "wanna spend the rest our lives together?" and I was just grinning ear to ear.  He finished pulling the ring out of the boxes and then asked the big question.  I shook my head yes and and I think I squealed.  :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Today is my birthday.  I turned 22.  But having a birthday the week before finals week sucks because no one really wants to celebrate with you.  I wanted to plan something big - like going out to dinner with a bunch of friends and having quality time with them.  A birthday card in the mail today would be nice.  When I was little, my great aunt Arlene sent me a card every year and always enclosed a check, which was just for like $5.  But she was amazing, it always arrived on my birthday.

I miss having birthday parties where all of my family would come.  I guess that's one of the greatest joys of having 2/3 sets of grandparents, 2 of my dad's 4 siblings and all of my mom's siblings at one point or another living in the same vicinity.

On my 6th birthday, my mom made pink vests for each of my guests.  We got to decorate them with beads, lace and ribbon.  That was my first slumber-party.  My dad took John camping and Michael stayed with us because he was too little to go camping.  

When I was 16, I planned a Mexican food themed party and the only people that were able to come were the grandparents.  And at the time, I hated listening to them talk about RV-ing and gold mining.  I was so excited to leave and pick up my brothers from their sports practice/working for Mr. Beeson, but today, I'd love to listen to that.

This summer, I have decided that I would like to make homemade birthday cards and envelopes and send them all of my family and friends who would like one.  What is better than receiving (non-bill-related) mail on your birthday?  In my honest opinion, absolutely nothing!  If all 63 people who wrote "happy birthday" on my facebook wall thus far sent me a birthday card, I would be ecstatic.  So, I propose, instead of (or in addition to) use the USPS and send old fashioned birthday cards (homemade are preferable and a little cheaper) to those you love.  Handmade, I estimate you can make and send them for about a $1, especially if you are reusing materials that had another purpose - old calendars, old birthday cards, magazines etc.

So, if you would like a birthday card from me in the next year, send me your address and birth date, and I'll see what I can do.