lots more teachers, lots more books (and paint, and paper, and charcoal, and….)

Well, I have some work cut out for me.

I went to see a counselor at school today to figure out my next steps now that I know what I want my major to be.  I’ve already started my pre-requisites to get into Graphic Design 1, and have completed 2 of my gen. ed courses (over the course of a year and a half, go me!*insert sarcasm here*)

The majority of graphic designers I have met only have Associate degrees (AA).  You can usually break into the field with just that (depending on what area you want to work in, obviously), so I have been considering just getting my AA, so I can actually get started doing what it is that I want to do (after working for 6 years at dead end jobs, I don’t know how much longer I can do that for.), and THEN deciding whether I want to continue on and get my bachelors.  Because you need an AA to transfer anyways, right?

WRONG.

Apparently, only certain community colleges do it that way, lay out the credits and course so that everyone who transfers “graduates” with an AA.  My friends Elaine and Geo both graduated from PCC with an AA, and then transferred to CSUN immediately for their bachelors.  But at LAVC (my college), it doesn’t work that way.  Either you do “Plan A” (a general education certificate for transfer to a Cal State) or “Plan B” (an associate degree).  There is no Plan C.

So I have to do both.

Basically, if I want to enter into the field I want to work in before getting my bachelors, I’ll need to complete what is needed for an AA, in addition to my transferrable credits.  Which means more work (about 16 more units).  Luckily, I can craft my curriculum so that most of the “general ed” courses I take can fulfill both.  But it also means a lot of extra work in the art and media design field to get my AA, about half of which are classes I will have to take AGAIN when I go to CSUN (if that is where I end up going, though it is looking more and more that way, because they are nearby and have a good graphic design program).

I COULD just wait to get my bachelors.  But I can’t.  As it is, I don’t know how long its going to take me just to get my AA.  I’m 24 years old.  It’s taken me this long to decide what I want my focus to be (hell, I didn’t even go back to school until I was 22).  I have few regrets in regards to the choices I have made or the path that life has taken me.  It has made me who I am, and being older and wiser, doing well in school means SO MUCH MORE to me than it would have when I was 18, 19, 20.  I also have years of work experience that many of my peers do not.  Even today, it’s amazing how many people my age need help crafting a resume, or looking for an apartment, or even learning how to cook for themselves.

But regardless, now that I DO know…I want to get going already.  And if that means extra work…then so be it, it means extra work.  And as for the bachelors…part of it is making more money down the line, but mostly?  I just want to be the most well rounded person I can be, and getting a bachelors degree will help that.

After my meeting, I went to Financial Aid to follow up on my grant paperwork.  Because I had a shaky start when initially going back to school (signing up for a heavier courseload than I could handle and dropping a course, and then getting a D in Art History later that year, when my brain was just…not in a school mindset), I have to write an appeal.  In addition, I somehow made too MUCH money last year (even while being out of work for 4 months), so I have to fill out paperwork so they can adjust it.

(Excuse me while I rant for a minute:  After the age of 24, you are considered an independent.  Before that, even if you live on your own, don’t get financial help from your parents, nada, they still base any financial aid on what your parents make, which is moronic.

Now, as I am 24, they WILL consider me an independent, but because I made a living wage, I’m being penalized.  Which pisses me off, because they don’t factor in rent, bills, etc.  Therefore, the OTHER 24 + students who still live with mommy and daddy, and only work 10 hours a week because they don’t NEED to, will qualify for the aid.  It is exceptionally unfair, and really pisses me off.  And LAVC is FILLED with these people.  they are the same girls that walk into class a 1/2 hour late, and spend the whole time talking to their firiends.  Maybe this is unfair on my part, to lump people in.  I just wish financial aid would factor in rent and general cost of living IN LOS ANGELES in a realistic fashion).

Whats funny about all of this is, usually, when faced with a looming goal, I get really stressed out.  About how it is too much, how am I going to be able to do it all, etc etc.  But I now have a clearer idea of what it is I need to do.  And that makes me oddly serene.

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~ by Alli on Tuesday, October 27, 2009.

7 Responses to “lots more teachers, lots more books (and paint, and paper, and charcoal, and….)”

  1. Don’t even get me started on the financial aid stuff. Despite my situation, the only way they could prove I was “independent” was if my boss wrote me a letter. MY BOSS. I was like, “Yeah, my boss doesn’t need to know ANYTHING about my personal life.”

    So, while I spent age 18 homeless and 19-21 struggling to make ends meet, I still had to use my parents’ information – information which, by the way, DIDN’T EXIST in the first place. So, I tried the orphan route, but, apparently, you need death certificates. WTF? lol.

    As for the AA/GA Transfer. It seems like a lot, but it’s really not. I’m going to be graduating with an AA and a transfer in math and it wasn’t much more than I had originally set out to do. Talk to the PACE counselor (in case you haven’t already) – he is the bomb shiz.

  2. er, I mean transfer with an AA…I think…I don’t know….I’m totally a space cadet this semester.

    Another thing I would suggest – don’t look at time..like..it’ll take “x time” or I’ll be “x age.” Because even if you’re 30, you’re 30 with something as opposed to just 30. If that makes sense.

    I’m always like, “Fuck, I probably won’t even have my BA until I’m 30/31, but then again…if I don’t keep working…I won’t have anything at all.”

    😉

    To quote TuPac, keep y’head up.

  3. I’m super happy for you. I’m so glad that you finally know what it is you want to do, and are going about it in the right direction. I’m really proud and really happy.

  4. wow–that is alot of work you did–proud of you!

    xoxo

  5. 16 units is not so bad Allison– you can definitely tackle it in one or two semesters. And who cares what age you are. Everyone is on their own path and it’s not anymore right or wrong than the next person’s. Dhiren got his Bachelor’s at age 25/6 and is about to graduate with his Master’s at age 27. That’s not that old. He was in school for a LONG time.

    Just keep yourself focused and move to get that bachelors. No matter what career, it helps. 🙂 You’re doing great and I’m totally excited about the graphic design path!

  6. Hey lady!
    I goggled “don’t look at time” and got your page.
    It was fun to read, ’cause I’m also 24, spent my last years traveling around Europe, working in the same time, have lost my mind and trying to figure out who I am by this moment.
    Finally i settled down (for how long? haha) in Amsterdam and started my study. But opposite to you, I do work at nights and study in a day time. It was kinda reading my minds on a paper (well, yeah, monitor screen).
    the same stuff about financial aid. My classmates could get up to 900 euro a month (which is quite good), but because i put loadz of effort living independently and earning money by myself – i’m not entitled for that :D. it is 4 months gone, and your blog made me thinking that the taxman could penalize me like you. dammit, this world is mad, or the government doesn’t really like independent people, but prefers bunch of sheeps.
    wish u good luck in your study! and take it easy. I believe, if you put loadz of effort u’ll get it back soon. it’s a matter of the time.

    peace!

  7. oh yeah, last thing
    I won’t be surprised if your birthday is in the end of February or in March. haha, just guessing.

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