The Student Stance: Expenses play part in poor experience

The Southerner

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By Lucy Leonard

When I signed up for dual enrollment last semester, I was blinded by the fact that it appeared I would have only three periods at Grady. No fourth period? I could work on college applications, get all my homework done and still have tons of free time. It seemed like such a sweet deal.Too bad my Georgia State University class threw me a curve ball.
My class met once a week for 50 minutes, which seemed easy enough. The amount of time I spent at GSU each week, however, typically ranged from four to five hours if you factor in drive time.
In addition to my scheduled class time, I was required to go to three hours of math lab each week. You may think “math lab” means having some sort of real life, hands-on experience. Unfortunately, it involved sitting at an old computer in a silent room, working on simple math problems for hours at a time.
Maybe it is my fault for choosing that class, but when I signed up, I had no idea what I was in for. Not going to GSU as an actual college student made it very difficult to figure out what exactly the mysterious “math lab” listed next to my class really was.
Math 1111 was, in itself, an interesting experience. All I have to say is that I didn’t come out any more prepared for college next year.
And then there was the parking. When I say parking was horrible, that is an understatement. Parking in a lot typically cost me around $7. That means if I went only two days each week, which I almost never did, I spent upwards of $210 on parking alone last semester. Often to add insult to injury, parking was a rather long walk from wherever I was going.
If I did happen to find a close, metered spot, it still cost me a lot of money and huge amounts of stress. I had to set alarms on my phone to make sure I would be back to my spot before the meter ran out. Once, I left all of my belongings on a table in the math lab and ran the entire way to my car. I arrived one minute late and found the ParkAtlanta attendant poised to write me a ticket. Though I was able to talk my way out of that particular ticket, some of my friends were not so fortunate.
Parking wasn’t the only surprise expense I faced, either. I used way more gas than I ever would have if I had not dual enrolled, and I paid for a completely unnecessary math textbook that set me back somewhere in the ballpark of $100. Add the $15 that I spent on the delicious candy Rollo’s that I bought to keep me awake during class, and you may find that dual enrollment at GSU costs a pretty penny.
Despite all this, however, I am dual enrolling again this semester. So far, I’ve spent $15 on parking and am procrastinating buying a textbook, access code for our online work and weird technological device all for my psychology class that I suspect will put a dent in my parents’ bank account.
Well, here’s to hoping this semester is a little better. Maybe I will get a higher paying job from all this and will finally be able to pay back all of my parents’ money that I spent at GSU.

 

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