Having completed 12 years of schooling and 4 years of college, the past couple years I’ve enjoyed the right to breathe a huge sigh of relief and smile nostalgically at the piles of backpacks, pencils, and colorful ephemera that appears in stores mid-July.
But with my husband’s sudden decision to start college and the whirlwind of FAFSA, financial aid, applications, phone calls, and paperwork that involves, I find myself suddenly thrust back into the school mindset, at least peripherally. So here’s a few of my random thoughts as we gear up for his first “back-to-school” in quite a few years:
- School, like many other things in life, increases exponentially in cost every year. Josh is attending classes exclusively online, so he doesn’t need pencils or a lunchbox ($25 total?). He does, however, need a new laptop ($700?).
- I never appreciated my mother enough for providing all the tools I needed for school – including filling out the endless forms. It’s one thing to fill them out for myself, which I did all through college. It’s another thing entirely to fill them out for Josh, because he believes himself incapable of both finding our tax returns AND then typing the numbers in the right little box on the FAFSA. And it would never occur to him that he might need a notebook and maybe a pen or two, even for online classes.
- Whoever controls the FAFSA/financial aid determination has WAY too much power. At least over my mental and emotional state.
- It’s a good thing Josh married his IT department. And I have no idea how he’s going to manage online classes, since he couldn’t figure out how to turn off the pop-up blocker.
- Who made the ridiculous marketing decision to advertise “Back to School” in the middle of JULY?!?!? It’s barely warming up in Michigan. It’s depressing. I hate you.
- Seeing all the cute back-to-school clothes makes me want new clothes.
- I’m really proud of Josh (and all the other adults in the same boat) for making the decision to go back to school. In addition to balancing a full-time job, he’ll be juggling the roles of hubby and daddy too. I certainly don’t envy him, and I’ll do everything I can to make sure he succeeds.
Good luck, my dear Josh, and every other student out there groaning at the pen-and-calculator-laden shelves! Can’t say I miss being in your shoes!