In April, I was burdened by finances. I owed rent, my car insurance was about to expire, and I didn’t have enough cash to buy groceries. All the normal troubles of a college kid.
At the beginning of the summer, I logged into my bank account to check on whatever paltry amount still existed. That’s when the surprise came. There in my account sat a chunk of money that I didn’t expect. It wasn’t a lot, but in my situation, it seemed to make my computer screen glow. Upon further investigation, it turned out to be from UVU. A phone call to the financial aid department explained that I had received a grant.
Here’s the kicker: I didn’t apply for this grant. I had never even heard of it.
That night, hunkered over a sheet of paper that had a list of my debts and foreseeable expenses, I came to the conclusion that after two weeks, 90 percent of that grant would be gone from my account. I was depressed. How could that money disappear so quickly? I had entertained the possibility of a new pair of glasses, but I wasn’t even going to have enough for that. I was in a hole.
My depression quickly lifted when I realized that if I’d never received that money at all, I would be in a much deeper hole. Suddenly, instead of disappointment, I felt something else.
Which brings me to this. I hope this thank you isn’t too late. Or misdirected. I’m not even sure to whom I’m directing my gratitude. Maybe it’s to President Obama, the figurehead of the government that maintains federal student aid programs for kids like me. Or maybe President Holland, the leader of the school that sent me the grant. Perhaps I was just in the right place at the right time, and I don’t owe credit to any one person or institution.
In all cases, when the bills were all paid and the money was gone, I knew I was very fortunate. So I guess I’ll just say it to the universe, and hope it gets to the right place.