Big changes are coming to Pinklea-land soon. I don’t know if I’ll be ready, but they’re coming nonetheless!
Now, you know that Darling Daughter is starting law school in September, right? She is very excited, as she has always loved and been quite successful at the student life. She has also spent the past three years trying to find full-time work in her field and discovered that there just wasn’t anything available for a novice, only part-time or contract jobs, and it’s hard to build a career on that when you are the type of person that DD is. That just wouldn’t work for her, so after much thought and much angst, she decided to move on to Plan B: back to school to become a lawyer.
But one thing she says that she wished she had done when she did her undergrad degree was to live in residence at the university. She feels like she missed out on – something. She’s not sure what, but she didn’t get that experience, whatever it was.
At the time, it was a sound decision for her to live at home. Of course, it was obviously cheaper. Bus connections to UBC were fairly direct from the suburb where we live, and although the travel time was about an hour and 15 minutes each way, it was doable. Besides, a bus pass was included in student fees, so it was almost like free transportation to school. Also, her school week at the time was never more than four days, so it wasn’t like she spent her entire life on the bus – just part of it. And then when DD got a car (or rather, when her grandma bought her one for her 21st birthday), if necessary, she could drive in. Parking is not cheap at any post-secondary institution, however, so she didn’t do that too often.
But still, DD always wished to live closer to the university. Hell, I did too, when I was studying there! But at least my family lived right in Vancouver – the other side of the city from UBC, true, but I only had to take one bus to get there. DD’s commute included a fair chunk of freeway. Mine was just busy city streets.
Anyway for her second go-round at UBC, DD has taken matters in hand and has secured herself a student line-of-credit for a surprisingly large amount of money. Apparently, some banks fall all over themselves to give money to law students (also medical, dental, pharmacy students and the like. Any line of study, really, where the potential earnings are big.), and she tells me that no repayment is required until a year after graduation. The interest rate is prime plus .5%, which, as of right now, works out to 3.5%. She talked to our financial advisor about this, and he immediately told her to go for it, as she’d never get a better rate and as a lawyer, she’d have no trouble paying it off.
Next, DD went out and found herself a basement suite in Vancouver a scant ten-minute bus ride from the university. It’s small, a little dark, but it’s completely furnished (it even has a dishwasher!) and internet and electricity are included. It seems perfect for her. It’s hers as of August 1st.
And then I shall be an empty-nester. I shall be living alone for the first time in over thirty years.
I’m not quite sure how I feel about this. I mean, kids move out. That is how it works. I have had DD with me for 27 years, which is longer than most kids stay home, despite that whole underemployment thing that many of them deal with. So, in reality, it’s probably way past time she left. But I do kinda wish she would stay home while she’s a student. It would be easier for her, both monetarily and for things like food and laundry and a clean bathroom. I hate to see her go into debt not just for tuition, but mostly for living expenses – although, truth be told, between her grandma, her dad, me, and her own savings, I think we have probably two years of tuition fees covered already.
But this is what DD wants to do. She is simply raring and eager to “start” her life, and I completely understand that feeling. I had it myself way back when!
So she will soon begin this brand new phase of her life, and so will I. It’s what people do. I don’t mind being alone and quite enjoy my own company (as does she), but I know there will be times when we will miss each other tremendously. But again, it’s what people do. We’ll both get used to it and we’ll both be fine.