I need life direction. Should I go to grad school now or later?
October 20, 2013 5:10 PM Subscribe
I've been at my non-profit position for 4.5 years. I am passionate and devoted to the work I do. They place where I work has allowed me grow as a professional and human being and I love my co workers.
The problem? I do not get paid enough. And I won't for a really long time. (pay freezes, money issues, etc.) So I'm going to grad school. The problem: Should I go now or later?
posted by anonymous to education (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I always knew I wasn't going to be paid a wage that is livable for the city I am located in. So I knew deep in my heart that my time was limited. My boss and staff allowed me to grow and actively encouraged me to pursue my dreams and goals. But they don't know that I'm dying to leave right now. 2 years ago I had an amazing experience with one of the organizations I work with (org works with individuals who are developmentally or cognitively disabled) and I knew this was it. I began volunteering for different therapeutic offices (occupational therapy and physical therapy) and narrowed down my field.
Eight months ago I began to take my prerequisite course to work to apply for am occupational therapy grad program. I am excited about the coursework and I LOVE my volunteer sites. I'm super, duper excited about entering grad school.
MY problem: I will not be finished with my pre-req course work for about 1 year. I just got engaged. My boyfriend is also starting a new career. I still live with my parents. I don't know what to do. I feel so incredibly excited about entering a new chapter in my career but I don't know what is my next step. I still have about 8K in student loan debt and my fiance doesn't make enough money (yet!..he he) to move out. Even if he did make enough money, I won't be able to afford to move out my house if I'm in grad school.
There are two B.S./M.S. programs that would allow me to take my pre-reqs and get my degree but they are really expensive and would require me taking out a significant amount of private loans. There is one very good, very competitive and affordable program that is master's program in the area. I REALLY want to get in this program.
Here are my options:
- stay at my job, continue taking pre-reqs, apply to grad school (hopefully get into DREAM program) and move out of my parents house in about 4.5 years.
- go part time at my job (maybe!), take more pre-reqs, apply to grad school and move out of my parents house in about 3.5 years
- quit my job, get a shitty part time job, go full time at b.s./m.s. program, move out of my parents house in 3 years and be in terrible debt.
After some seriously humbling conversations from several real estate agents in the area I know I won't be able to move out of my parents house unless I'm okay with living with 4 other roommates right now. Living my parents is...not pleasant. I don't know what I should do. I have no one to counsel me in this situation. And all I wish in my heart is that I would receive a small pile of money with which I can realize my dreams...but that's not gonna happen!
At the center of these worries of mine are my anxiety of holding off starting a family. I feel like the more I hold off entering grad school the more I have to hold off getting married and having children. I'm impatient to enter grad school because I really want to have my shit together soon so I can start a family. For some really stupid reason I am afraid I won't be able to have children. I'm afraid that I will never move out of my parents. I'm afraid of being trapped in this state of suspended animation.
I so want to be moved in my fiance. He's feels like my family and it feels bizarre leaving his house at the end of the night. We are both desperate to get our shit together money wise and move out. We are both working very very hard to save money and pay off debts. But it feels so impossible. It's been 2 years of living like monks. I should just shut it and be grateful my parents let my live with them. Despite my contributions to the household it is most certainly not my space. I feel like a failure that I still make my income, I'm still in student loan debt and now I'm just embarking on more debt. I feel like I won't be able to reap the fruits until I'm in my 30s. My younger and older brother have moved out, have families and good jobs. I'm here...feeling like that angsty 17 year old I once was (or so I think I'm not anymore!)
For the record I'm 25. I probably sound really spazzy but my thoughts on this matter are so scattered. What should I do!? God this was embarrassingly long. I know several successful women that have great careers and families and I wish there was some "talk to a succesful lady" day because man do I feel lost!!!!
If you've read this far....thank you and your advice is truly appreciated!