In my last post I mentioned that I applied for a prestigious opportunity I happened to find out about, despite my many doubts, and got in.
I was unable to get any help from my university but my partner and I agreed that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity so I used my savings to pay for a plane and hotel. Then I found out about an extra $650 cost associated with the conference I hadn’t known about previously.
Aaaaaaaaand, I didn’t have any more money to give to this thing. After talking with some of my most trusted friends and considering it carefully, I decided it was best to decline this opportunity and recoup as much cost as possible.
I spent a lot of time yesterday thinking about the adage, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” I was stuck in a lot of icky emotional residue. First, of the many times when there was a great opportunity we just couldn’t afford. Second, of the utter frustration I’ve felt so many times as a first-generation student knowing that the university has plenty of money for the things it values but not knowing how to convince the people who hold the purse strings that my agenda is something the university should value. Last, the helplessness.
It sucked, and then, I got an email from somebody involved with the planning process which said, “It is too late to replace you. You should have thought of this before you applied.”
Oh, friend, if only you knew how much I did think about this before I applied. Le sigh.
I hope, someday, I’m in a position to help other first-gen students find the funding to take advantage of amazing opportunities.