Getting Ahead

29 Mar

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You know those, “OH-NO!” moments?

Yeah, my first one at the UA came on the first day of classes. Back then, before the days of UAccess, we had something called StudentLink. This system had many loop holes, but it got the job done. I thought I did everything right when I used the site. I WAS WRONG. I took out student loans and was waiting for them to disperse all summer and on the day the money was due, my loans still had not dispersed. I remember going to the bank and filling out all the paperwork. I also asked the financial aid advisor at my orientation session about my loans. I kept racking my brain, wondering why they wouldn’t go through, and I kept telling myself that it was a technology glitch.

Finally, I spent the better half of one afternoon standing in the very long line at the Bursar’s Office. Upon reaching the counter, I was informed that I needed to go to Financial Aid because there was a hold on my funds. I decided to think ahead and call Financial Aid as I walked there hoping that I would have my problems solved in a jiffy. Boy, was I wrong. The line at the Bursar’s office was nothing compared to the twisty and tangled mass of students waiting for financial aid assistance. I took a number and waited and waited and waited.

Finally my number was called and after pouring out my soul to the financial aid worker, she told me in one simple sentence, “Oh, you forgot to sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN)”.

“My whaaaaa?”

The young women directed me to the financial aid website and pointed out that I needed to “follow these easy steps” in order to obtain my loans.  I rushed home, logged on to my StudentLink, and followed the exact steps. By 11:59pm that night, my loans finally dispersed. This situation alone gave me a streak of grey hair, not to mention a huge lesson learned about sitting and waiting for problems to work themselves out.

Here is my advice … This summer make a UA to-do list: buying books, finalizing financial plans, creating budgets, and finalizing your schedule. Each time you cross something off, be sure that there isn’t another step or task needing to be complete. From a senior perspective, I have learned once you cross off one thing from your to-do list, another item will soon find it’s way to fill that empty space. Don’t wait until your list is endless to start crossing items off at the top; each day make sure you are working towards completng your goals. By doing this you’re avoiding tons of unnecessary stress, and you will feel better about yourself upon your return to the UA campus.

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