So, my January has been exciting with work stuff. Justin’s January, on the other hand, has been exciting because of SCHOOL stuff! That’s right, he finally started classes again at the beginning of the year.
It’s been a long time coming, that’s for sure. When he first started talking about going back to school, we were living in South Carolina, so he started researching the schools available to him, either locally or online, and started the application process for one or two of those. In the middle of that, we decided to move to Georgia, which messed with some of the planning there, because of state residency and in-state vs. out-of-state tuition costs, and also just the insanity of moving.
He was trying to get enrolled at the University of South Carolina – Beaufort campus, and I’m not sure what’s wrong with them but they have the worst customer service / admissions process I’ve ever witnessed. We’d go for weeks without them calling us and Justin would call and leave messages on machines and with people repeatedly and regularly, and no one would ever get back to him. And then when he finally managed to get someone knowledgeable to talk with him, they’d say that they were waiting for some information and they weren’t able to do anything until he provided that information and, oh, you didn’t know that?
After about a year of this, we realized that it only takes a year of living in the state to qualify for in-state tuition, so he went and applied for Armstrong Atlantic University in Savannah. And while it still took a while to get everything settled and lined up and it was really close to the wire there at the end, he managed to get enrolled in this semester and started on January 11th.
And some of the requirements were absolutely ridiculous. He had to do a ton of paperwork to prove that he’s a Georgia resident – like tax records and a copy of a bill to this address and a copy of his driver’s license, but also a signed statement of why he moved to the state and his intentions of leaving the state and a statement regarding why he doesn’t have an employer in state that can vouch for his living in Georgia (I was amused by this last one because his statement said something about how he’s a house-husband).
And then it took a lot of effort to get someone to review his transcript and give an evaluation of what credits he needed to take in order to graduate. Apparently this is because no one had ever seen a transcript with quite that many credits on it. I guess they’re not used to transfer students who are transferring after 3 ½ years of schooling. He was finally able to sit down with someone to review his credits and figure out what exactly he would need to take in order to graduate the most quickly with the most number of credits transferring over. And then register for the classes for the spring semester 2016.
And then it was done except for the money. But the loan money wouldn’t get approved until he’d proved his residency and also declared his major, both of which took longer than it seemed like they should have taken just because of the going back and forth with people who couldn’t help with what he needed to get done or the system not transferring information or people being out of the office for the holidays or something. I’ll be honest, at that point, I was pretty lost on the whole thing. I just kept hearing stories from Justin about sitting on hold for an hour to try to get someone to talk with him and then waiting again for another hour on another hold line and debating whether he’d have better luck just heading down to the school and sitting there until someone would see him.
Anyway. It all got approved and signed off and he’s enrolled! He’s declared as a Liberal Arts major (just like me!) and transferred the maximum number of credits that he’s allowed. Most of the classes he has to take are the core classes required for the school and to get the humanities classes that were missing from his transcript – because his previous school was an Engineering school and they’re not really big on Literature classes for some reason.
They also didn’t offer the Georgia History class that’s required for Armstrong. Fancy that!
So he’s taking a full load of 5 classes this semester. That turns out to be classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. He’s leaving the house slightly after I do those morning, and getting home on Mondays and Wednesday a while before I get home in the evening, but around the time I get home for lunch on Fridays – two of his classes are longer so they only meet two times a week.
Later, in March, he’ll have a “mini-mester” which adds another class a couple times a week in the late afternoon, so he’ll get home after I do once that starts up.
So far, he’s not terribly impressed with one of his teachers, has a lot of weird and frustrating stories to tell about another one, is rather fond of a third, and the fourth he doesn’t talk about much but is impressed with her organizational skills. He’s had a lot of reading, some of which he’s shared with me and has been fun and interesting to chat about. He’s had to give one presentation about some of that reading. He’s talked about how young so many of his classmates are and how they’re all too scared to talk in class so he tends to be the one talking quite a lot in some of his classes. (Like he’s usually so quiet, right?!)
One of his classmates is a guy who just got out of the Marines. But before the marines, he was at a small private school in northeast Georgia. Not actually Toccoa! But at his school, he was also on a traveling singing group (between 2003 -2006), and when Justin mentioned Luke Fritz, the name did sound familiar!
Overall, we’re both excited that he’s back in school. He’s happy to be working on getting his diploma and doing different coursework things. I’m excited because he’s getting out and able to chat with people and do more than sit in the house all day. Not to say that I’m not thrilled to see him on my lunch break when he is home. But I’m glad that he’s got the opportunity to go out, too.
And that’s the other half of the excitement for the start of our year!
It’s really just those two things – my work change and Justin’s school. Just in case anyone was expecting anything else.