Nov 30, 2006


I'm attacking SGU's health history forms, and since I'm currently coughing up for Kaiser (I work through a staffing agency, aka a temp agency, thus don't have health insurance, though I'm told I am entitled to steal office supplies), I discovered the wonder that is 'free' vaccinations.

I also discovered that my ovaries *do* work when it comes to bargain hunting, so I said "Fill er up!" Gimme any damn vaccine you have. I even want the smallpox vaccination... because you never know. Didn't have that one though. I did opt out of the Yellow Fever vaccine, because when "multi system organ failure" is listed as a side effect, I figure I'll spring for the mosquito netting, plus I didn't want to run a 25% chance of being nasty sick for the next 2-5 days. I've got packing to do.

And not to worry, Grenada doesn't have Yellow Fever, but I was thinking of impromptu island hopping and a possible trip into Venezuela because I'm a geek for the rainforest stuff... and not just the gorgeous tropical island variety, but the "microscopic brain slugs and jaguars" variety... all of course when I'm not burning countless hours of med school info into my retinas. I wonder if I could do the reading with a microscopic brain slug... while being attacked by a jaguar...

But I digress.

What this means is after shots for typhoid, tetanus, Hep A, Hep B, and two pretty nasty blood draws from a PIT (Phlebotomist In Training) to check my titers, I feel like I've lost a fight. Oh, and to other Phlebotomists In Training, saying "Why isn't it... Shit... is it the tube? Dammit... I'm gonna try using a smaller needle" isn't comforting... No lie, direct quote, and couldn't you have used a smaller needle to begin with?? It's bad when a blood draw hurts 10 times more than a tetanus shot. Oh, and if you miss the vein, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE just let it go and restick me as you will eventually need to do rather than rotating the needle 180 degrees in an attempt to rend as much of my flesh asunder as you can before leaving your newly created paint gun cartridge hit-sized bruise on my arm?

Oh, funny side note... while the nurse that gave me the shots (not the PIT) was looking over at something, I leaned slightly out of my chair to 'surreptitiously' look at my file, and she spun around like Bruce Lee, and grabbed for me with big eyes, soon closely matched by mine, because she startled the hell out of me. So don't lean slowly out of your chair when you get your shots because the nurses will think you're passing out and will try to rescue you. Heh.

And I'm due for a full physical, a flu shot (it's free! Free free free free free!), the meningitis vaccine (it's free! Free free free free free!), and a TB test on the 7th.

SGU requires the TB test (it would like it 6 months in advance, or so they claim, but I didn't even GET the health forms 6 months before January), titers for MMR-V (immunization record isn't enough), a tetanus shot in the last ten years (and you need the batch number), and the Hep B series. You don't need the Hep B series to register, but it needs to be complete before you start rotations (and the last shot is six months behind the second one), and again with the free.

You also have to either get a meningitis shot, or say that you are aware of the meningitis vaccine and don't want it because it's usually frigging expensive, and sign off on it. You can't do that with the others. Something about infecting patients, plus I'm sure they don't want you to get anything that will cause you to drop dead before paying off all those loans.

Hep A and Polio are on the recommended list. I opted for Hep A because I'm shameless about what I'll eat (well, within reason; get your minds out of the gutter) and I will eat street meat with impunity though the concept of how one gets Hep A through eating street meat is disgusting (mmm microscopic fecal matter).

Kaiser, in their infinite wisdom, or because they read the above, also gave me a pre-emptive Cipro prescription for the inevitable "bacterial traveler's diarrhea". I'm not going to South America, so I suppose it isn't Montezuma's Revenge... Carib Indians' Revenge? Boo hiss...

All right all right. Enough. Back to packing, and to enjoying the last few days of lumbar supported slumber, since I have a buyer for my bed, which means fortunately, I haven't sold that sleeping bag yet!

Nov 29, 2006

Merry Giftmas, you shallow golddiggers...

Okay, and yet another post totally unrelated to SGU. Get used to them, since I'm not going to be on the island for another six weeks... six weeks, good lord that's close.

So in the meantime, I decided to reveal how opinionated I am. Why wait?

First things first... I have absolutely no trouble with the commercialization of Token Winter Holiday. I like holiday music, holiday decorations, blazing tacky lights on every house (sans spiral neon Christmas trees, PLEASE), gifts, family, etc. Hell, I look forward to going to visit my relatives every year to ensconse myself in the utter feelgoodness of the holidays (unlike many, I actually like my relatives).

That being said... commercials lately have been getting to me. Commercials frequently get to me, but lately, it's been really really bad, and I struggle through my basic television watching to not be fundamentally offended because I pride myself on being difficult to offend.

All right... perhaps I hang out with women that aren't gold digging, materialistic, ball breaking bitches, but if I see one more "buy her love with diamonds for the holidays so she doesn't snipe at you for the rest of the year" commercial, I'm going to start taking hostages. I don't even LIKE diamonds, and I'm liking them less by the holi-day.

Now, the whole "guy loves his woman and surprises her with a nice gift and she wakes up to an expensive diamond necklace" motif actually doesn't bother me as much. Works with diamonds; works with cars, expresses a sentiment that somehow, MIGHT be somewhere close to a nice gesture based on feelings of love. It's cliché, and I'm not fond of shiny trinkets that don't enable me to go underwater, but whatever. He loves her; she likes diamonds; he gets her diamonds because he likes to get her things she likes because it's HIS frigging idea. Awesome. Whatever floats your boat or drains your bank account.

No no... what I'm talking about is the Jared syndrome, and not the odd looking guy from the Subway commercials. I'm talking about the sniping poodle women comparing the size and clarity of their trinkets and then brow beating their husbands for not "going to Jared" or every other damn equivalent of it.

Attention men. If your woman ever looks at you pointedly and says "HE went to JARED", divorce her. If you ever take flak because you went out on a gift for her, and it wasn't good enough or expensive enough, then let her take up residence in a stable with the other women that trade sex for shiny objects. And just give her the cash. Then she can go to Jared herself and pick out what she likes. Happy holidays and happy endings.

I just saw a watch commercial that doesn't target women specifically (though again with the diamonds!), but says the thing that says the MOST about you is your watch. Yes, they frigging say that. Forget your actions; forget your character.. what says the MOST about you is your watch.

Now, I've never gotten the Rolex fixation, but even from a purely shallow and materialistic perspective, your WATCH? Really? Not your clothes, hair, makeup, ipod, car, or cell phone? Sucks to be you, Donna Karan, Cover Girl, Apple, Audi, and Motorola. Better close up your businesses now. They're destined to failure. Apparently, it's the watch. The perfect gift to say "Hey, maybe you should try being on time every once in a while, just to be different. Maybe if I stick enough shiny things on this timepiece, the light will reflect in your eyes and remind you that you're LATE!!!

Come to think of it, I should get one. Every time I'd think about how much I hate diamonds (frequently), I'd look at my watch, realize I'm late (because I always am), leave the house, and be on time. Thank you, Seiko.

This should be the focus of people's unhealthy fixations on the "War on Christmas", not the dumb 'happy holidays' thing. Remember, every time a Jared commercial airs, it makes the baby Jesus cry. And more importantly, it makes *me* cry... and rant... and blog!

Nov 27, 2006

A Hello to Income...

And a Happy Belated Celebrate the Rape and Slaughter of an Indigenous Peoples by Eating a Retarded Peacock Day to all of you!

Yeah yeah, but at least now I don't have to be bitter about seeing Token Winter Holiday decorations since they're not pushing out the Fourth of July merchandise anymore. I do love this time of year.

My fraud alert is off one credit report and pending on the others. For FAs, threatening phone calls to EQ and TU work nicely; Experian requires the more formal approach of a threatening letter... Remember, cutting the individual letters out of magazines and newspapers gives it that personal touch.

I actually went against the Roseville auction thing at the suggestion of a friend, Jim, that also has a great yard. The problem with apartment living (besides the upstairs neighbor that apparently has a racetrack upstairs is you have no 'yard' for an "I'm selling all my shit" yard sale.

So I set up on Black Friday when everyone was at the shopping malls... Friday, we got off to a pretty late start, and didn't get most of the signs up, but still took in a decent amount. Saturday rocked though, so I managed to start raking in more dough for the grand purpose of being dumped into my credit union savings account for the cross country/trans country move. So then I printed up a bunch of pictures of my remaining (in some case, in use) furniture to put around, and sure enough, I've sold about half of it now with more crap in my apartment to clean out! Hooray!!!

Sunday, I got rained out, so packed up all the yard sale stuff into Jim's carport, piled into his truck and exploited him for physical labor at my apartment.

Funny thing with yard sales though... I've been living in apartments since I was 13, so have very little experience with yard sales (hence the overwhelming amount of crap), but the people at yard sales... some are really cool, but others are complete assholes about everything and while I don't mind haggling, will insult your stuff in an attempt to get something that costs a quarter for a dime, OR they'll talk about your stuff in front of you, which is highly rude... had one woman and her daughter look at a table full of jewelry that ran from my grandmother's pearls/real gold, nice stuff all the way to my little kid days with plastic jewelry and my goth phase, and I was standing IN FRONT OF HER to answer any questions, and she looks at her daughter, and says "Whoa.. yeah, I'd buy THIS, riiight... I suppose people just have different tastes" and then sort of laughed... and it's like... just how badly are people raised that they make it to adulthood saying whatever they're thinking without getting decked?

This was the mother saying it, and I was thinking... if I had said that in FRONT of my mother at any time, in the same circumstance (right in front of the seller), I'd have gotten my ears boxed and had to apologize. Bastids.

Then of course we had "What's your lowest price, no your lowest price, now I'm going to try to undercut THAT instead of the asking price woman", who managed to get me to $30 on a 180$ sewing machine only to stalk off in a huff because it didn't come with the 60$ file cabinet it was sitting on, and she'd been REALLY trying to get me lower than that. Sold the stuff to someone else, bitch; next time bring a better attitude, but I'm sure you're busy down at the car dealership trying to trade in your 1979 Gremlin in on a Dodge Viper.

So what did I learn in my experience? Garage sales/yard sales = good way to make money/reminder that I should stay in school because I could never EVER work retail without eventually winding up in jail.

Nov 22, 2006

A Farewell to Income

What? ANOTHER post? If only I can keep up this rate once I'm in Grenada. Riiight.

I gave my notice today, and my boss was REALLY cool about it, which of course, makes me feel like more of an ass. Ah well. So it's becoming, as Geertz would say (because dammit, I will NOT have that religion in society and culture class be simply a waste of money), part of the really real.

My apartment is starting to show the real signs of breakdown. Since I'm going to try my luck at the Roseville Auction as mentioned this weekend, I'm ripping through my belongings to look for things to sell. I've taken down posters and paintings, cleared kitchy knick knacks off the surface, thus getting down to that spartan 'someone's about to not live here' element, punctuated here and there with stray boxes. This also means that every time I go home, I have that deep breath, holy crap this is really happening and damned if I'd better get my loans or I am ska-rewed sensation.

Poco a poco. And good lord, I have a lot of crap! It's amazing how much generic buildup you get when you live somewhere for 7 years with no discernible plans to leave.

Oh, on a COMPLETELY random, non SGU related note, I decided to post this transcript with a certain roadside assistance company, whose name I will disguise as "Triple B" or BBB, because the incompetence is golden. I was driving back from diving in Monterey, and fortunately not in a hurry. The following is the *abbreviated* version of the intensive task of trying to get some competent roadside assistance. And yes, my cell phone reception was FINE:

Ishie: Hi, yeah, I need a service call? I stopped to take some pictures, and now my car battery's dead. I'm by the side of the highway on 152 headed East about 3 miles past Casa de Fruta. I'm in a white Hyundai Accent.
Idiot1: You're where?
Ishie: Three miles past Casa de Fruta... on 152 East, between Gilroy and Santa Nella.
Idiot1: Well, what city are you in?
Ishie: I'm not in a city. I'm between Gilroy and Santa Nella, probably in Santa Clara or Merced county.
Idiot1: So you're in Santa Nella?
Ishie: No, Santa Nella is about 30 miles in front of me. I am BETWEEN Gilroy and Santa Nella.
Idiot1: Well, what's the last exit you saw?
Ishie: Casa de Fruta. Could be Casa de Frutas.
Idiot1: About how far back was that?
Ishie: Three miles.
Idiot1: Can you spell that?
Ishie: C-a-s-a d-e F-r-u-t-a.
Idiot1: Hold on. So your car won't start?
Ishie: Right. The battery's dead. I just need a jump.
Idiot1: Well, if it just stopped running on the highway, that's not the battery.
Ishie: I pulled off the highway to take pictures. Now the car won't start again.
Idiot1: Okay, but if you were driving and the car just stopped running... did it stop running slowly, or did everything just fail? Because that's not the battery.
Ishie: Listen... I pulled OFF the highway to take pictures. I turned off the car, got out of the car, and took pictures. When I got back in the car, and put the key into the ignition and turned it, the car went "rrr... rrr... rrr..." and wouldn't turn over... because the battery's dead, and needs a jump.
Idiot1: So... you're past Casa de Fruta?
Ishie: (deep breath) Yes.
Idiot1: I'm not finding it. Are you sure it's Casa de Fruta?
Ishie: Or Frutas. Yes. It's the only road out here.
Idiot1: Hold please

Ishie: Hello? Oh, fuck me.


Ishie: Hi, I just placed a service call but got disconnected. I'm on 152 Eastbound?
Idiot2: Okay, what seems to be the problem?
Ishie: I stopped by the side of the road to take some pictures, and my car won't start. The battery's dead. I need a jump.
Idiot2: Well, if the car just stopped running while you were driving, then the problem isn't the battery.
Ishie: I stopped to take some pictures, thus I was not in the process of driving.
Idiot2: Well, was the car running when you stopped?
Ishie: What? The car stopped running when I turned off the ignition. When I turned the ignition back on, it wouldn't turn over, because I need a jump.
Idiot2: Well... we can't have a technician jump the battery by the side of the highway for his safety, but we can tow you somewhere else, though with
your plan, it's only the first five miles that are free, after that it's ten
dollars a mile.
Ishie: (&(*)(*(*&)(*^^%&^*(U(*??????????? Let me get this straight... I need the guy to jump the battery, but he can't, because it's unsafe to do by the side of the highway, but it IS safe for him to kneel down with his back to oncoming traffic, secure the car to the towtruck and tow me twenty feet backwards to the dirt inlet where I pulled off so he can jump me there?
Idiot2: .... well, if the car suddenly stopped running, it's not the battery anyway.
Ishie: Can you just send someone out?
Idiot2: Okay, where are you?
Ishie: (through gritted teeth) I am on Eastbound 152, 3 miles from the Casa de Fruta exit. Gilroy is about 8 miles behind me; Santa Nella is about 30 miles in front of me.
Idiot2: So you're in Santa Nella?
Ishie: I see a call box behind me. I'm walking to it.
Idiot2: Are you safe out of your car?
Ishie: Safer than dying of exposure inside the car after I'm left here for dead. Hold on. (walking walking walking) Okay. I am at the call box. It is callbox 152-0300 listed Santa Clara county. I would give you the GPS coordinates if I had them.
Idiot2: (clacking keys) Okay... callbox 152-0300; that has you on 152 Eastbound. Is that correct?
Ishie: YES.
Idiot2: Okay, I'm going to add this to a service order I'm seeing here... do you know...?

Ishie: Hello? Oh you've gotta be fucking kidding me.


Ishie: Hi... I've been disconnected from you guys twice, I am trying to place a service order so you guys can jump my battery. I'm in a white Hyundai by the side of 152 Eastbound. I'm probably gaining some notoriety over there by now.
Idiot3: You're by the side of the highway?
Ishie: Yes.
Idiot3: Well, if your car just stopped running on the highway, it's not the battery.
Ishie: Can we just get someone out here?
Idiot3: Oh, okay, but I'm going to put you down for a tow, because if it were the battery, you wouldn't be able to START the car; it wouldn't just stop running.
Ishie: Excellent. Can you just make sure the service order is in?
Idiot3: Oh... it says the service order was cancelled...
Ishie: Can you un-cancel it?
Idiot3: Oh, okay... so... where are you?
Ishie: Call box 152 0300, Santa Clara County. The sun is at approximately a 5:00 position and I'm next to a rather large Live Oak tree by the side of 152 Eastbound between Gilroy and Santa Nella before the San Luis Resevoir, three miles past the Casa de Fruta exit which features a rather famous fruit stand and stores uniquely called "Casa de Wine" and "Casa de Restaurant", and there's a huge rock outcropping about 100 yards in front of me. What do you people do when someone *doesn't* know where they are?
Idiot3: ... uh... I'm making sure the service order gets out for a tow. Someone should be there within half an hour.
Ishie: Thank you.


Ishie: yes?
IdiotDispatcher: Hi, we've got a service call, but we're getting a lot of conflicting information on exactly where you are?
Ishie: Of course you are.
IdiotDispatcher: So...
Ishie: Call box 152 0300, Santa Clara County.
IdiotDispatcher: (keys clacking) Oh, so you're on Eastbound 152, east of Gilroy?
Ishie: Hallelujah. Yes.
IdiotDispatcher: And they have you down here as a tow?
Ishie: It's actually a dead battery.
IdiotDispatcher: Well, if your car stopped on the freeway, it's not a dead battery.
Ishie: Okie dokie then.
IdiotDispather: Someone should be there shortly.
Ishie: Thank you.

Tow Truck driver: Hi.
Ishie: Hi.
Tow Truck driver: What seems to be the problem?
Ishie: I stopped by the side of the road to take some pictures. When I got back in the car, it wouldn't turn over. The battery needs a jump.
Tow truck driver: Hmm... did you try to get a moving start?
Ishie: Yeah, but I didn't pop the clutch at first, and then ran out of road before risking going too far onto the freeway.
Tow truck driver: Did it make any noise when you tried to turn it over?
Ishie: Yeah, it went rrr rrr rrr.
Tow truck driver: Sounds like the battery. Get in the truck and wait here for a second.... (three minutes passes)... okay, yeah, started right up. You're good to go. I'm going to wait here for a second to make sure it doesn't give you any problems when you drive off.
Ishie: Thank you very much. Do I owe you anything?
Tow truck driver: No. Why did they have you listed as a tow?

AHHHHHHH... now picture the conversations about Casa de Fruta, the spelling of it, and the location of it, as well as arguments about the battery going on about three times longer than noted because even in transcript format, it began to wear on the soul. This series of calls, sans time lounging in my car reading scuba mags (hubba hubba), lasted FORTY MINUTES.

Nov 21, 2006

Still Reading?

So, thanks to my disputes with Crapital One (What's in your sock drawer?), Equifax extended a fraud alert to all my credit reports for 7 years, despite the fact that I didn't ask them to, and don't want one, and putting a fraud alert on a report without permission is... ya know, fraudulent. So I get to fight that off, because I can't have an FA to apply for the GradPlus loan. Hooray.

In other news, I head for NC to do the last few weeks of the friends/family thing around December 12/13, which means we're getting into the range of when I need to quit my job, which I'm so not looking forward to... but am as well, but gasp, that means no more income for a while!!!

Also, in the spirit of Caribbean living, I'm selling about 85% of my belongings. It's freeing in a sense, but also terrifying. Hoping to use the Roseville auction as my bitch for all that. I also have a bunch of semi valuable stuff I'm hoping to find a buyer for, like a $100 set of ugly 1965 tarot cards.

On the SGU front, I still need to do my health forms, which requires kissing up to Kaiser. Word to the wise, I'm not sure how strict they are, but they want that TB test six months in advance, which in my case, is too bad for them. That'll teach me not to keep wildly good track of my medical records. I also need to check my immunity on the Hep B vaccine, since while in college, I managed to get two of the three shots and then ran out of health insurance. I'll probably need a tetanus booster, and they highly recommend the meningococcal vaccine... Hep A is another good one... I'll get the form list later.

The school hasn't been contacting me as much lately. I think they know that I'm actually going. The weird thing with SGU, at least in my experience, is that once they know you're interested, they half stalk you, at least until your application is in. You get multiple packets, multiple invites to open houses, cds, pens, and so forth. I haven't gotten that much dead tree since a Presbyterian women's college in Virginia apparently got my files mixed up with someone who would be caught dead in a Presbyterian women's college in Virginia. Who knew?

Once I had my interview, I continued getting SGU paperwork which gave me mini strokes every time I went to the mailbox, but I didn't actually hear for 9 weeks after my interview that I was accepted. Following that, I had approximately three students call me, three passport holders/luggage tags sent to me, received MORE paperwork, including stuff for the vet school (though when they eventually sent the financial aid packet I actually needed, it was through email), and then TWO sets, separated by three months, of housing forms. Whew!

Nov 17, 2006

Welcome to the wonderful world of overwhelming debt

This is my first blog post, first blog, and so forth, so be kind, or more likely, never see this in the realm of a billion blogs, and continue reading about how much Dubya's an ass or how much people who think Dubya's an ass are asses.

Generally, I wouldn't consider my life interesting enough to commit to blog format, but since, as an incoming January SGU medical student, I've found the blogs of other SGU students helpful, perhaps mine will be eventually as well. In the meantime, I'll bore any readers with the humdrum events of my life while adding in just enough relevant schooling information to keep the academia-obsessed reading through. Mwa ha.

Since I'll be a January start, scuba diving, Caribbean medical student, I will try VERY hard to not rip off Carsten's excellent blog. Hopefully, I won't get the hurricane in the middle of schooling like he did.

So, currently?

I'm in California working as an editor. I'll be driving to North Carolina to say my final goodbyes to family and friends, live there for a few weeks, and then fly down to Grenada to start med school. I'm taking my parents, because I love them so much (and they make excellent pack mules when dealing with spartan luggage requirements), so happy vacation, mom and dad! Remember, you can ONLY TAKE A BATHING SUIT AND A PAIR OF SHORTS. THE REST OF YOUR LUGGAGE SPACE BELONGS TO MEEEEE!!!!!

Not that the remote few reading this care about all that.

Application process. Getting into an American medical school when you're a California resident is slightly easier than coming up with a unified field theory. When I applied through AMCAS, my stats were:

Degree: Anthropology, graduated with high honors. GPA: 3.54, weak in chemistry, lowest grades on my transcripts were C's. Went to UCDavis. (Go Aggies!)

Took the MCAT twice because I am a complete and total idiot. First time: VR:12 BS: 10 PS: 7 WS: O. Total: 29O. Second time: VR: 11; BS: 8 (damn damn damn damn); PS: 8 WS: T. Total: 27T. Hey, but I took that writing sample to the top score! I could be an English teacher!

Extracurriculars were decent. I had some hospital volunteer work, but did a lot of research down in the Donated Body Program, which allowed me ample opportunity to prepare, dissect, drain, and oversee the medical school cadavers, so my anatomical background kicks some ass. I'm expecting biochem to kick mine.

So seems decent enough... ha... Didn't get a single secondary from a public school, kids. Not a one. My darling alma mater just sent me the rejection via EMAIL. "Dear applicant; whoa, dude, got your application, lol, and who do you think u r kidding. :( " or some equivalent.

I thought through all the classic cheats like pretending getting a biology masters would make a difference. Talked to a practicing CA doc who graduated from Berkeley with highest honors and couldn't get in, so she went to SGU.

For those wondering, SGU (St. George's University) is a highly regarded, extraordinarily expensive way to get your medical degree if you don't mind a couple years in the Caribbean (Grenada and St. Vincent), nor going into so much debt it makes your teeth itch. They are one of four schools in the Carib (others are Ross, AUC, and SABA) where you can get licensing in all 50 states. Yes, SGU is also the med school they had to evacuate during the Reagan years. Quit asking.

For info about the school, the forum in ValueMD proved extremely valuable and answers all questions you might have. There are some other blogs that provide a nice overview into life in Grenada, though everyone's experience is different.

Anyway, I applied around April or so for the August class. I got an interview in San Jose (I'm in Sacramento) fairly quickly, and then paced around my apartment for 8 weeks ripping out my hair. Got on the waitlist for August with a promise of January admittance if I didn't get in. I opted out of the August waitlist for guaranteed January, because otherwise you risk finding out you're going to the Carib with a week's notice or less. No thanks.

For what you'd expect, SGU maintains a pretty high status in incoming students. Average GPA and MCAT are posted on the official website. They also may accept students that didn't get directly into a medical school spot into a Master's program or Foundations of Medicine program with provisional acceptance into the medical program after completion. They also seem to be starting up a med program in England that mirrors the curriculum of the basic sciences on Grenada, but I know next to nothing about it.

After getting in, you have a mandatory 1000$ deposit to hold your spot sent well in advance (depending on when you got in). There is a second 5000$ deposit that, if you're getting loans, can be postponed to be taken out of them, but call your financial aid counselor.

So now, I've turned in my forms (except the health one) and I'm just waiting around trying to stockpile some cash. I'm working on getting my loans. Unless mommy and daddy are independently wealthy, you will need loans to go to this school, which, after 4 years, tends to leave you a quarter million dollars in the hole. Better hope you stay in. Federal loans will only cover 18,500$ a year, so you will need private loans to fill in the rest. Start fixing that credit now.