In The Waste Land, T.S Eliot calls April “the cruelest month.” With colleges sending out their financial aid awards and finishing off their enrollment, April is an important month for a lot of college students and incoming freshmen who depend on financial aid to attend the schools of their dreams. Eliot wasn’t too far off, I think.
Earlier this month, I received news from back home that my uncle Rafo passed away. When I first heard the news that he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor back in January, I knew that I had to prepare to travel at a moment’s notice since well, la vida es impredecible (Life is unpredictable). I didn’t expect him to leave so soon. I had managed to save up a few bucks but almost not enough.
I dove into the freelance world right after college with a few ideas on how the whole thing worked. My professors talked about it constantly during those last weeks of class, and this gave me a taste of what I’d deal with after graduation day.
“Never leave your house without a business card,” they said. “A written thank you card can get you places.” Their stories gave me an idea of what it meant to be a freelancer, but they didn’t tell me how much it would cost me—literally.
So, you’re single on Valentine’s Day in New York City. But that doesn’t stop you from getting into the spirit of things. New York has that charm about it. It’s not sad; there are a lot a of couples enjoying the day, as well as a lot of friends enjoying each other’s company.
Being the sappy romantic that I sometimes secretly am, I wrote a few love letters in honor of today’s holiday. Maybe three. And well, I’d thought I’d share the one that made the most sense for this here blog: a love letter to my tax refund.
(And if you think writing a letter to money is strange, you haven’t been paying attention.)
I miss a lot of things about college. My friends. The campus. Those rare, fun classes.
One thing I will never miss? Filling out that darn Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) at the start of every year. I thought that, once I graduated, I would never have to deal with that long, intense, wordy application again.
I was wrong.
So far, becoming an adult has entailed dealing with a series of obstacles like, “How does one make rent again?” Oh, and, “Am I already facing a life crisis?”
I figured out those answers for the time being, but some questions I just don’t have any answers to yet. Some questions I never even asked myself before. These often come from my older family members—especially when talking about my post-grad life.
The holidays tend to be the most crucial time for me when it comes to money.
It all starts with Thanksgiving. The first of many good times with friends and family this season in which you splurge and go all out. I sometimes can feel too much “merryness” and spend money when I shouldn’t.
This Thanksgiving was a special one, though. Not just because I got to go to Schenectady, New York, to visit my friend’s family, but also because my first loan payment was due that same day: November 28, 2013. (Ha. Nice timing, Universe).
Oh, yes. I had a lot to be thankful for this year.
With temperatures dropping from 60 degrees to 30 degrees in just 1 week, the November cold strolled into the northeast like a burglar in the night. But even though I feel the chill, things back home in Puerto Rico are starting to heat up (and not because it’s a tropical island or anything).
Oh yes. They’re here. College application deadlines.