March Snowstorm Blues

There’s a phenomenon in Minnesota–a phenomenon that probably all the northern states experience, but perhaps Minnesota experiences it in more severity. It is the March Snowstorm. You see, in a typical year (and this year was not typical) the months of January and February are often too cold to produce heavy snowfall, and thus in March, when the weather begins to warm up, and the pre-spring showers arrive, we get blanketed with inches upon inches.That hasn’t happened too much this year, though we narrowly missed a huge storm earlier this month. Right now, however, some warm false-spring days led to rain. All that rain fell for about 24 hours, and then a cold snap plowed through, turned it into tiny little bits of ice, and then turned into huge caricature-worthy snowflakes. Now here I am, March 23, 4 months back in this illustrious country of mine, (I accidentally typed country of money there: Freudian slip?), sitting in a coffee shop in a scene worthy of a Christmas card.

Although I believe everyone who reads my blog is also friends with me on facebook, I have some exciting news about the schools I applied for. I have been accepted at all four!!

That includes!
Harvard Divinity School
University of Chicago Divinity School
Claremont Graduate School of Religion
University of Chicago Humanities Creative Writing Option

Now. I am sorry to say that I have already turned down one of these schools. Although I was really honored and flattered that the Creative Writing program admitted me (I was iffy if even that would happen), they offered financial aid to less than 2% of their applicants. I was not one of them, and indeed they only offer half-tuition scholarships. Thus, I knew right away that financially, I would never have been able to support my education there. Sadly I had to turn them down.

I’ve planned a very exciting visit to Harvard and Chicago for their new student days, which are conveniently right back to back. I get to stay in Chicago with Janelle, and I’m also really excited about THAT, because I haven’t seen her since I first got back.

Right now my biggest concern is money. All of the schools, except for Creative Writing, offered me some form of financial aid. Harvard and Chicago both awarded me scholarship grants for about half of tuition. However, once you add the cost of living to tuition, that aid goes down to about 1/4 or 1/3. Since I am already in debt over Hamline, I am really quite concerned about how I will pay for these schools, regardless of which one I choose. Chicago offered me more money, but also has steeper tuition, although the cost of living may be cheaper in the city. It would also be really nice because I have at least one friend there. Really, though, the Harvard program has always been the most exciting to me, and without having any experience of the schools, Harvard is really my top choice. That may change after I visit. Harvard is the best of the best–that name is known throughout the world. In reality, I’m a little afraid that I’ll go there, feel totally out of place among the “best of the best” and choose not to go.

My other big concern is the work that I’m doing here in Minneapolis. I love my different jobs and the opportunities I have to make a difference here, in a community that I understand and love. Moving to a new city, even if I plan to come back, is a big commitment, and I will definitely lose opportunities.

Anyway. It’s a big decision and I’m super stoked about my upcoming visits.

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