I don’t want to brag, but something pretty cool happened to me this evening. And I want to share for some very important reasons that have to do with magic and the universe.

My dad and I were contemplating what to buy for dinner tonight. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to spend a lot of money. I wasn’t even sure if I could spend a lot of money. At least not until payday this coming Friday. My financial concerns eventually segued to talking about paying for school. Admittedly, I’m not great at money management. In fact, I sorta have a little bit of a reputation for being something of an impulse Amazon shopper. But I know when to buckle down and focus on saving my pennies when funds start getting a little tight. That being said, three semesters into community college (which is already as cheap as it can be), I’ve had to take two student loans just to make ends meet. I knew without question that I couldn’t justify requesting another one for semesters #4 and #5. I was going to have to figure something out. Sadly, that meant very likely having to withdraw from school for a while.

I’ve always thought it was peculiar that the popular sentiment is that you should stay in school. That you should learn as much as possible and be a lifelong student! But they sure do make funding that dream close to impossible for the folks who don’t come from families made of money. I would love to do nothing but absorb knowledge for the rest of my life, to be honest, but those two loans and my meager paychecks can’t fund it forever. It’s frustrating, stressful, and disheartening. And quite frankly, I was dreading having to start taking on the label of “college dropout.”

"Life has a funny way of working out just when you start to believe it never will."
“Life has a funny way of working out just when you start to believe it never will.” Image Credit.

Putting the dread behind me for a minute, I decided to log into my student portal to check a grade on a recent database design project. I was pleasantly surprised to find instead that I had been awarded a Federal Pell Grant for both fall and spring semesters of 2018 and 2019! Yeah, you read that right! A grant! As in literally free money you don’t have to pay back! I nearly fell out of my chair when I told dad and immediately felt the weight of burden lift off of my shoulders. The grant isn’t enough to completely cover the tuition of the next two semesters, but it’ll cover a pretty good chunk of it. A good enough chunk that I don’t foresee an issue with paying out of pocket for the rest. Most importantly, it’s a good enough chunk that I can breathe easy again.

The main reason that I wanted to share this story isn’t to celebrate or self-congratulate. I wanted to share because the first thing I thought after reflecting the entire evening back to myself was this: Sometimes, this universe is beautiful. Sometimes things just work out! Sometimes, whatever power has control over all of us is just plain looking out for you. I have a little trouble sometimes convincing myself that someone or anything is in charge somewhere. Sometimes I think “fate” is just a load of garbage. But moments like this reinforce for me the belief that maybe some kind of good karma or mojo or something is swirling about out there. Maybe Alanis was right when she sang about the funny ways of life?

Maybe life will work out for us after all, friends. We just gotta stick with it, even when we think it can’t get much worse. <3

Author: Joseph Black

According to Wikipedia, I discovered magnesium and carbon dioxide, so that's something.

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