I started this blog to tell my story. I stopped abruptly in April 2013 and just never got back to it. Well…. here is the continuation of the story….
In the last two installments, I passed the GED test and got a car! A lot happened in a short period of time.
After finding out I’d passed, I took a celebratory trip to Minnesota to visit my cousins. I was just so happy that I wasn’t stupid after all and I needed to find someone to share my joy.
While I was in Minnesota, my aunt took me to visit the local university campus. I thought it was awesome that once you entered an academic building, you didn’t have to go outside again until you were ready to leave campus. All the buildings were connected to each other. It was really convenient once you figured out where everything was (especially once it got to be winter!), but it was very confusing at first. They showed me the most recently updated dorms (and not the ones that hadn’t been updated — which was about 85% of the dorms), and I could see myself being very happy there. (And maybe I would have been if they had put me in an updated dorm — but that’s another story for another day.)
I told the enrollment counselor that I was interested in attending, and I was informed that since I didn’t have a high school transcript, I had to take the ACT and get at least 21 on it to be accepted. (I’m not sure what you have to get to get into other colleges, but someone who had a high school transcript told me that they had been accepted with an ACT score of 13. I was up against some stiff competition!)
They arranged for me to take the ACT the next morning.
I had no clue what the ACT was. I hadn’t been in school in 14 months. And I showed up very sleep-deprived. I took the test and didn’t understand what several of the questions meant.
I waited about 20 minutes after finishing the test for my scores. The testing guy handed me a sealed envelope and turned and walked away.
I opened the envelope as we drove away. My score was circled and next to it, the testing guy had written “congratulations!”
I had scored exactly 21.
From there, my aunt and I filled out applications and requested my GED information be sent to the school.
I went home and waited.
At some point in there, my older brother and I sat together on our front step and talked about how unhealthy our home environment was for me. He said, “you have to get out of here! If you don’t, you’re going to die.” He was the only one in my immediate family I told about my plans to attend college.
I was elated when the acceptance letter finally arrived. I (wisely) did not expect an overly positive response from my parents. I opened the envelope to confirm that it said “accepted” and then handed it to my mom, who asked “what is this?
I let my family know that I was definitely going and I wasn’t planning on changing my mind.
The summer was a blur of talking in hushed tones with supportive friends and family and not talking at all with my parents.
My family was all in a tizzy to prepare me for going out into the Big Bad World. My brothers (and their girlfriends), grandparents and aunts and uncles made sure I had practicalities like printer paper, socks, toiletries, a few dishes and bedding. My parents’ preparation was to hand me a book by Mary Pride. The only thing I remember about the book was that it stated in no uncertain terms that women should never attend college because of they do, they will turn into feminists and will want to have sex for recreational purposes. I had no idea what “sex” meant and as far as I knew, “feminists” protested the destruction of forests — topless. There was no chance that I’d ever (willingly) do something like that, so I figured I’d be fine.
Every person who knew about my plans was elated — with the exception of my parents, whom I did not discuss it with after letting them know I was going. I’m grateful for every person who supported me. Through this experience, I learned that Mrs. Clinton was right when she said “it takes a village.” No two parents can provide absolutely everything a child needs, and in my case, the deficits were definitely filled, and I am truly grateful.
The day finally arrived. I packed my car. I stopped in the kitchen on my way out and said I was leaving. I drove myself to Minnesota and my aunt and I moved all my belongings into my dorm in three arm loads each.
I was officially a college student.