I could use help figuring out what to do with my life.
March 19, 2012 4:29 PM Subscribe
I was recently accepted into graduate school (pursuing my MFA in nonfiction writing) but after doing some thinking, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to go. I'd like some different viewpoints, however.
But what's more pressing is that, if I don't go, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my life right now. And for that, I could use (a lot of) advice.
I feel that my entering an MFA program right now would be something of a waste. I don't have anything I want to work on, I don't have much motivation or drive to write at all, and the main reason I applied was to simply escape Iowa and because I feel useless outside of academia. My sample was built from things I wrote almost two years ago now because I couldn't come up with anything new or recent. I feel like I can do better, really.
But not right now, because my current headspace is extremely foggy and clouded and I have nothing in terms of output. Having come off of three years of drinking, everything is kind of muddled and my moods are so erratic that I would rather get to a more stable point in my personal life so that I don't end up entering a program and shooting myself in the foot. I am unstable, depressed and suicidal most days, merely okay on other days. I need to even myself out. I still plan to leave Iowa. I NEED to leave Iowa. But I need to regain some control over my life. I think that needs focus first and to attempt to do it while gunning for my MFA would do a disservice to both, would undercut progress in my personal and professional spheres.
Neither program really lines up with what I want. I like EWU's faculty, but not the fact that it's a 2YR program. I feel like, in a two year program, I'd spend the first year just readjusting to being integrated into society again (I spend a lot of time alone right now). And one of my big desires out of the MFA is teaching experience, but if I'm not getting a TAship, that kind of kills it for me in a big way. Plus, funding is very, very unlikely. I can't justify taking out more loans, especially for schools that aren't absolutely perfect for me, especially since I already have 60K in student loans from my undergraduate years.
There's a part of me, though, that thinks that this is fear talking. That this is me trying to make excuses. I don't know.
So here's the thing: If I'm not going, then what the hell do I do now? I need to get the hell out of here but I've never really had to make a move like this. I'm looking at a few options (like applying to be a residence hall counselor at the Interlochen Arts Academy) that would get me out of here.
Do I just up and move? I've been thinking about just up and moving away,. I have friends in Austin, in San Diego, and I could probably transfer to a Starbucks in either place while I looked for a better job. In this job market, this doesn't seem like the greatest idea, but staying where I am is immensely damaging for me mentally and physically.
I don't have the most useful skill set, either: my work experience over the past several years has been in café work and sales/event planning, with some work with Upward Bound sprinkled in there. I have experience/skill as a technical writer, as an editor, as a salesman, and doing basic tech support, which are all things I could fall back on, but most of these skills are things I've taught myself and it's hard to back self-tutelage up on a resumé.
So I kinda find myself lost on what to do right now. I've never really been in the position where I need to move without that move being for school. I'm young, only 24, and I don't know much about this whole 'real world' business. I could use some advice!