After two days of playing phone tag with Kent State, I finally got (a) someone who had a pulse to pick up the phone and (b) an answer to the mysterious please contact the admissions office line.
Here's how it all went down:
Me: "Hi, my name is Ashley Anderson and I am applying for the higher education administration program. My online application status told me that I needed to contact the admissions office for further information."
Admissions Counselor asks for Social Security number.
I give her Social Security number.
Type type type. Doesn't work. Provide with full name, date of birth, and my SSN again.
Admissions Counselor: "It says here that the decision made was to deny your application due to the program and the waitlist being full. Those letters won't be sent out until the end of this month. Does that answer your question?"
Me: "Yes, thank you. Have a good day."
Admissions Counselor: "Mmmhmmm. Good bye."
Commence flood of tears.
Not only did I have the ultimate shitty day at work (pardon my French) but it's pushing 100 degrees outside, I have a sunburn, and I don't do heat. My tolerance for anything decreases exponentially after the thermometer hits 75 degrees. By this point, my tolerance for rejection, bull shit (again, pardon the French, but there may be a lot of that word today,) and general grumpiness and stupidity was reaching Absolute Zero.
Of course, as I'm crying, everyone keeps telling me that it's a sign that maybe Kent wasn't the right place for me either, that I just need to keep trying and I'll find the place where I'm supposed to be. At this point, I'm borderline hyperventilating because it is so friggin' hot and I'm so upset because nobody seems to get it.
Any other program requires taking the GRE.
The GRE costs $150 to take the general test.
I don't have $150 because I'm cranking out $1000 a month in student loan bills. My income from both jobs is literally $1100 a month (I almost published $11000. That would be nice.) After gas, I may have $75 of disposable income available. If I have a credit card bill, that number is less.
My savings account is 25% the size it was when the year 2010 started.
For now, the buck stops the search because I don't have the money and no one seems to understand that. No, I can't go to the movies. No, I can't go out with my sister and spare $10 to get a manicure. No, I can't take the GRE or even afford a book to help me study for it. No, I can't go out for dinner with friends because my disposable income is virtually zero.
It's like my worst nightmare playing out in front of me while I'm stuck in an oven. I can't stand to stay at the Job From Hell because I am literally dying on the inside there. I can't afford to get a new job and take a pay cut because then I'll end up not being able to pay my student loan bills, which disqualifies me for financial aid until I pay the balance back AND it screws up my credit score. No financial aid eligibility = no grad school = Ashley feeling like a complete and total Loser. Yes, with a capital L.
Maybe I'm not applying to the right program. Maybe the right school isn't in Ohio. Maybe I'm doomed to be working barely-above-minimum-wage-jobs and be miserable for the rest of my life. Right now, my stomach is tossing and turning and I feel like puking and I really don't know what to do next. Do I go for my MA or MFA in creative writing and then try to find a PhD in creative writing program and be the world's youngest and least life-experienced creative writing prof? Or do I keep trying for higher ed? Or do I just waste away at a drive thru window while I continue to slowly decompose on the inside?