I was going to attend a 4-year college on a music scholarship. What held me back was the debt I would still assume since my scholarship wasn’t full. Instead, I opted at the last minute to enroll in the local community college. I had wanted to start college a year earlier, but my parents squashed that dream by telling me they made that mistake with my older sister and wouldn’t do so again (despite my best efforts to inform them that I wasn’t my sister and wouldn’t be making the choices she did). Because I had been home schooled, I didn’t technically have a high school diploma and I hadn’t bothered to get a GED, so the college administration was quite put out when I requested to not be on academic probation my first semester (policy for everyone who didn’t have a diploma). I had 21 credits that I planned to take my first semester and would have to drop classes that I didn’t want to if they didn’t change my status in their computer system. They did.
Ron wasn’t going to attend this college. He had always planned to attend an art institute, but that idea was thwarted when life threw him into living out of his car after high school. If anything, he was going to attend college sooner, but needed that financial aid. The year he would turn 24 and be eligible for financial aid was the same year I was a college freshman, and we both enrolled.
Not only was I not going to attend this school, nor at this time, but I also wasn’t going to take Intermediate Algebra and Trig. I had been speedy and completed all of my high school math in my sophomore year, not thinking that by the time I took college entrance exams, I wouldn’t have done math for two years. This placed me into the middle ground of math classes at the college instead of into calculus. My parents, again, told me I shouldn’t take this Algebra class because my older sister had done so when she attended this college and she only got a C. So obviously, I should take the class below this so that I could get an A.
Usually, I would have just given in and did whatever my parents told me. It wasn’t worth the hassle that would ensue if I wavered from their wishes on anything. For some reason, though, I decided that I was highly insulted by their suggestion and I enrolled in the class anyway.
Ron, as gifted as he is at math, would have never been placed in this class, either…if he had done academic math in the seven years prior to taking his entrance exam. Needless to say, we both landed where we needed to be. Interestingly, we both had made vows to ourselves to not talk to anyone or make friends at school. It was all business–get good grades and get out.