Hey guys!

I apologize to those of you who have emailed me in the last couple of days. I promise I will get back to you tonight or tomorrow. I've been slammed with training at my new job and getting prepped for the new semester that's starting next Tuesday, and I also had a volunteer event that I worked last weekend. It's been nuts.

So I've been at Starbucks for two days now and I think I like it pretty well. The coworkers that I have met so far are AWESOME. The store manager and I hit it off talking about Depeche Mode and Morrissey shows we wish we'd been to, and I think the assistant manager and I will get to be good friends as well, she's extremely friendly and loves karaoke and tattoos and talking about food, so, there we go, right up my alley. All of us DIED laughing yesterday because one of the baristas started talking in a fake British accent on the drive-thru, until it turned out that one of the customers was ACTUALLY British. Both of the managers are pretty close to me in age, but a lot of the other shift leads and baristas are 5-6 years younger than me. Still, it feels really nice to be around people with similar interests who are near my stage in life. The pay is peanuts, but the benefits are excellent. I will have decent health insurance for the first time literally EVER three months from now. I can't tell you how excited I am about that.

I also got an email a few days ago informing me that I got the Pell Grant. $1500 dollars, divided in two, $750 paid for my tuition at the comm. college this semester with some change left over to buy textbooks. Luckily I only need to purchase two texts this semester, so I'm hoping I can squeak by only using what's left of my grant. I have no idea if I got loans or not, I have to visit the financial aid office on Tuesday and find out if I have more money coming to me in a few weeks. It's been so long since I've done this, I'm kind of feeling around in the dark. If filled out FAFSA and got a grant that means I must have applied for loans too, right? Ergh. Hopefully I'll get some answers next week.

So I'm going to be moving out of my friend's place in a few weeks. I put a "room wanted" ad up on Craigslist and got a response from a female lawyer who lives only a few exits north of me (so, actually closer to the college) who is renting a spare bedroom in her home. She's cool with me having a cat and said she'd work with me on the overall rent cost if we hit it off and decide to go forward. Her initial asking rate was a tiny bit higher than what I was seeking, but in her words she knows it's better to find the right person than get the right price, which I think is a good sign.

I'm going to be working 20-25 hours a week, and I'm taking 12 hours in school this semester. It feels like a lot but for the first time in my life I actually feel like I'm going to be capable of doing this. I got a grant, I'm on the dean's list, I'm only taking three core classes this semester, and I have a decent new job that I think I'm going to really like. I'm also applying for food stamp benefits next week, so I may be able to do this with little to minimal help from my parents, since I know they are stretched very thin as well. It's going to be hard, but I think it will be worth it. I just tell myself that all of this is preparing me for the day when I'll be interning for my counseling license and will likely have an insane schedule.

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I hope everyone here is doing really well! Anything big that I missed in the past week?