The last thing Selma said is the most important thing for you to remember!
I had a year of college as a vocal performance major. I would characterize my family at the time as borderline lower middle class income(the southern border, mind you), so I was attending school on fumes, financially. When it came time to prepare for my second year, I sought to put it together to go to a small private school that had an excellent performing arts department. I had my basic grant, social security(thanks to my parents), work study and a part time job factored in (as I recall, I couldn't get a staudent loan), and would be able to just carry 14 credits. I counted on my basic grant being at least as big as it was the previous year, and it ended up being $600 short, and there was no way for me to make up for it. To cap it, with that kind of shortfall, I couldn't return to the community college I'd gone to the previous year.
I wanted to keep singing and further my music education, but I also wanted security, so I came up with the idea of joining a military branch and becoming a musician. The only branch that would even discuss it with me was the Navy. I went to the recruiter, discussed it, and took the ASVAB. I scored a 99 out of 99 on the sections the Navy looks at, at which point the recruiter's eyes rolled in their sockets, his dorsal fin popped up, and he proceeded to swindle me into nuclear power and submarines, and I bit, hook, line and sinker. He proceeded to tell me how difficult it would be to start out as a musician, as I would have to schedule time with the band, rent a hall, and audition. The better way to do it, according to him, was to join in a different job rating, and after I was in, "cross-rate" to musician, and oh, by the way, how did I feel about nuclear power and submarines? What he neglected to tell me about was a structure in the Navy called "creole groups". Job ratings are divided by level of criticality, A,B,C,D, & E, A being the most critical, and E being the least. In cross rating you can stay in your own creole group or go to a higher one, but you can never go down, and at the time, submarine nucs were A's, and musicians were D's. When I got to boot camp, my company commander, who happened to be a surface nuc, threw his head back and laughed when I told him of my intention to become a musician. I believe he said: "Boy, you are f@#^^d!" Nevertheless, for the ensuing two years I tried every legitimate way I could to join the musician corps. And I got to speak with several of them, and it was everything I imagined it would be.
So I ended up as a nuclear mechanical operator on a submarine. I advanced to E6 in five years. 6 months after I made E6, one of the guys on the boat handed me a copy of the Navy Times. In it was an article where the musician corps was looking for male vocalists, any rate, any creole group, E5 AND BELOW
!!!! Imagine what went through my head....
I guess my points are: 1) Don't take college for granted. Some us are envious. 2) If you deal with the military, GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING! Take your time, and don't let them rush you. Read and understand all of the fine print. I ended up being a graduate of the 2nd hardest technical school in the country (Naval Nuclear Power School, 2nd to MIT), and I still got snookered by a weasley recruiter.
Good luck, and much success, whatever you do!