Yes. I looked like this just a little bit ago.
Yes. I looked like this just a little bit ago.

About 25 minutes ago, I noticed a change in my financial aid award for the upcoming Fall semester. Being a college student with a part-time job, bills to pay, and a lot of other things to worry about, I panicked. I stressed myself out. I went completely bonkers – quietly of course – but still, bonkers. And I know I’m not the only one.

I  originally started writing this post as a rant venting my frustrations with the institution of financial aid, its necessary presence in my life, and its ironic ability to turn support into anxiety. I stopped part way through and remembered something by Chris Brogan I had read that told me to look at problems and then come up with solutions. Sure, there’s going to be an emotional reaction but it’s not always best to act on it. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, I should be focusing on how to fix it. So I took a breath, deleted the portion of this post that involved some not so nice language, and started to write. I began to breathe normally again. I calmed myself down to a point of somewhat normalcy.

This is what he was trying to share. When you actually take the time to consider solutions to your problem, instead of the problem itself, you take the time to chillax, get back to where you should be, and just generally feel better. I’m taking all of this negative energy and channeling it into something positive.

So, back to my original problem: financial aid. Instead of verbally ripping it a new one, I’m going to consider the situation from a different angle and think about some solutions to my problem. Here we go:

Solution #1: Write an email to financial aid asking for a confirmation or  explanation for the change. Once a response is received, I can respond accordingly. Check.

Solution #2: Have people donate to my cause: Mandy Needs to Be Schooled. I’ll somehow create an interesting contest that will allow for people to “school” me in various activities that I’m not so great in, like dancing or calculus. To officially “school” me, you’ll have to donate…and maybe I’ll get a cool sponsorship.

Solution #3: Cry, scream, rant, rave, and otherwise explode.

Solution #4: Wait till the bill comes and then worry about it.

Solution #5: Investigate other scholarship opportunities that I may have missed or could otherwise take advantage of.

See? I feel better already.There’s options on the table, I’ve considered the situation from a different angle, and now I don’t feel like exploding.

Now to think about how I can execute my contest idea…

5 Responses

  1. I received a few emails regarding PRSSA scholarships at the beginning of this summer. I’m sure you’ve already looked into it, but if not, there might be some promising opportunities there? They certainly don’t give students a generous amount of time to come up with the money if financial aid falls short. I think the whole system needs to be reformed…

  2. This is a far more rational and productive answer than I would have come up with. I tend to look for solutions at the bottom of a quart of Jim Beam. Unwise, at best.

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