Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rachel Whitley from the Southern Beauty Shop series by Lila Dare

I've got some big decisions coming up and I'm not, like, sure how to make them. I'll be graduating from high school soon, and I'd really like to go to college, but me and my mom can't afford it. I enjoy working at Violetta's, but I never really saw myself as a beautician, you know? I know Mis Vi would keep me on, train me and everything, but I kinda want to study chemistry. I'd miss St. Elizabeth if I went away to college, but, like, the University of Georgia is only a few hours away. Go, Bulldogs!

My grades are good, but not good enough for me to get a full-ride scholarship and it's not like I'm a star athlete or anything. I mean, can you see me dribbling a ball down the court or kicking a soccer ball through the goal posts? Yeah, right. I'm pretty fast and I thought about trying out for track when I was, like, a freshman, but running in circles is pretty boring unless you're chasing someone . . . or someone's after you!

I've saved a lot of the money I've made working at Violetta's, but I figure it's no more than a couple years tuition, never mind living expenses. And textbooks cost, like, a bazillion dollars these days, even if you buy them used. My friend Willow said I could room with her--her folks are going to rent her an apartment--but I couldn't not pay rent. And then there's food and the electric bill, and gas for my scooter--not that that's very much, but still--and who knows what else?

My mom suggested I join the military because they've got some, like, killer education benefits, but I don't think I'm the military type. When I told Grace about I was thinking about the army, she almost snorted root beer out her nose laughing. She said that I'm an "individual" and that marching to someone else's drumbeat might not suit me. She might not have a college degree, but she's smart, that Grace.

So, do y'all have any ideas? How did you pay for college, for yourself or for your kids? Should I work at Violetta's after I graduate and save money until I can afford college? Or should I apprentice with Miss Vi and get my beautician's license? I suppose there's always student loans, too, but I don't know how to go about getting one. Help!


  1. Student loans or a PELL grant sound like your best bet. The easiest way is have your mom dig out her tax forms and fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Google will give you the URL. Submit it to the schools you are interested in,and see what you get! Good luck!

  2. Shel gave you great information.

    Search the internet for grants...there are some for lower-income families, specialized interest, and etc. Would you consider going to a two-year college locally, working at Vi's, get good grades and maybe you can get a small scholarship to finish your education at a 4-year college?

    Good luck! I think the women at the beauty shop would also help you.

  3. Have you thought of a part-time job at a salon in the city or town where your college of choice is? Are there any scholarships for local youth in your area? Would local businesses sponsor you, maybe?

  4. That's a tough one. Student loans plus a part-time job seem to be the wisest way to do it. But you need to be absolutely certain that's the direction you want to go.
    Beauticians can make a good wage. But if your heart's set on something in chemistry....

    Good luck!

  5. You all have some great advice. Thanks so much for dropping by today and, like, sharing your ideas with me. I'll let you know what I decide

  6. I used a Pell Grant, and it really helped me. Or look up online and see what kind of scholrships are out there. I got one for journalism, as I was a student editor/reporter.

    Btw, I thought you rocked in the Miss Magnolia Blossom Pageant!

  7. If you live at home and work at Vi's you could start by taking classes at night.


  8. I think you've had some nice strategies pointed out for you. I am betting your can-do attitude is going to pay off for you too!