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Summer Plans and a Reality Check

Yeah, I know. It may seem a little early to be making summer plans, but Brad and I have been talking about it for practical reasons.

We were originally planning on taking some summer classes as a way to get ahead in our credits, with the idea being that we might be able to graduate ahead of schedule. But lately we've been rethinking the whole thing.

We've been talking about our finances and the whole business of how we can take more responsibility for how we're paying for college. Without going into a lot of detail, we both have some scholarships that cover some of our expenses, and both our parents have been helping out a great deal.

If you've been following some recent developments we've written about, you'll understand why we've decided it's important to plan ahead to make sure we have the means to continue. We just want to make sure we're prepared for anything that might happen that would keep us from being able to stay in school.  Going to college has always been something that's been important to both of us, and we feel this is the time to do a "reality check" on where we are and where we're going.

We've both decided to take a break from summer classes and use the time to work and put some money aside. We're also looking into what's involved in getting student loans should we need to go that route. Then there's an office here on campus that specializes in finding grant money we might qualify for.

The construction company I use to work for always said I could come back anytime and rejoin their home refurbishing crew. I've already contacted them and my former boss said the offer still stands. He said there's enough work that I could come back full-time, so I'm meeting with him next week to talk about working this summer.

Brad knows a few people who are familiar with the restaurant business, and he's talked to them about the possibility of meeting with some chefs or at least the owners to see if he might be able to get some kitchen experience. It would be doing something he enjoys anyway and it would give him some experience in seeing how restaurant kitchens work. The ideal situation would be working in one of the nicer restaurants where they have a professional chef. Getting some "on the job training" would be a plus as far as his future plans are concerned.                                    
We're tryng to look at these new developments as an opportunity to take more responsibility for ourselves. It's also made us aware that our future is extremely important to us. Neither of us is willing to give up on our dreams. Getting there might take a little longer, but the dreams remain firm.

"Reality check" is a term we've been hearing from people we've talked to about all this. Somehow I sorta like the sound of that term. I guess that's something we'll be doing ongoing, not just for now but for as long as we want to deal with the realities of life. How grown-up does all that sound? ;-) One person told us that it's always important to make sure our dreams are balanced with reality. Lately we've felt our dreams were a little more vulnerable than we thought.

So yeah, we're taking a break from classes this summer. And we might not be able to get to the beach as much as we wanted. But nothing -- nothing -- is going to take away our dreams. We're just going to have to add a dose of reality to those dreams and keep moving ahead.
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