help! should I drop out of my MFA writing program?
November 8, 2015 9:39 PM   Subscribe

I started a MFA writing program in Vancouver this fall. I wasn't sure about whether I should go or not to begin with, and now, I'm still second-guess and worrying I made a big mistake. I'm unhappy, often, and I'm worried that if I stay it will be for the wrong reasons: a big, heavy sunken cost fallacy. Can you help, please? Long complicated backstory inside.

Before I started the program, I spent a few years traveling/working, and then I moved back to New York (the city I love) on a whim. I was there for 8 months-I'd only intended to visit before I travel, but I fell back in love with the city, and found an apt and unexpectedly awesome jobs and I missed my friends and so I stayed. I was working a lot, but also spending a lot of time doing things I loved: having drinks with friends, going for walks, sitting on the grass, cheering up in the company of strangers.

I had great friends, great work, a lovely apartment with awesome roommates, a yoga teacher I adored...and then I came to Vancouver. I thought I could get used to living anywhere-but, I just don't know if I belong here, it feels wrong. I can't tell how much of that is in my head, how much of it is that some part of me just doesn't want to be here, can't commit to it, and how much of is real.

My program has been disappointing. I wanted to be inspired and challenged, but the quality of the work isn't what I imagined, and even some of the feedback from my professors have been underwhelming. I'm spending all this time workshopping, and barely benefiting from comments (most of the edits people suggest feel like things that I might have found on my own, with more time). I came here because I wanted to be a part of a community, and to write my novel-but it actually feels like I have no time to do that, because I'm balancing assignments with school with my freelance jobs from NY (and sometimes neglecting the latter). The cost of living and tuition is way lower here than it'd have been in New York, but I'm making way less, too.

I'm trying to do here the same things I did in NY, the things that keep me happy. I go on walks, I go to coffee shops, go to yoga. But somehow everything feels a little off, a little less good. I can't be as fully present, and it's just so very rare that I feel happy, really happy. Instead, I cry, sometimes at seemingly the smallest disappointments.

One other thing that may or may not be influencing how I feel: a few years ago, when I was backpacking in South America, I fell madly in love with a Canadian hippie, and we had a whirlwind travel romance. I think I've been in love with him since, even though we email once every couple of months, and there's no real basis for that love. I came to Vancouver, in part, because I had this crazy unrealistic hope, this secret conviction, that maybe I'd see him and this time he'd stay, we'd stay together, and it'd be the love of my life I didn't give up on, the thing that worked against all odds. I thought if I saw him again and he asked me to go with him anywhere, I would drop everything and go.

But I saw him again, here, and it was all wrong, wrong wrong. Reality had nothing to do with the way things happened in my head, and it was over so quickly, so completely. I cannot delude myself even slightly that there is hope-and it's devastating because I had been so, so, sure, sure in a way that I am not often sure, sure in the way that I have always been about my writing, like it's okay if everything else goes to shit because at least I'll still have this one thing.

But I was wrong about him, and I'm afraid I'm wrong about my writing too, and wrong about my blind optimism, wrong about all my decisions. Before I left NY, I told all my friends that they had to support me if I dropped out. Even before I left, I was thinking that-I decided to come to grad school with the knowledge that I could quit. I didn't really look forward to starting school, I looked forward to the summers, when I could travel, work, live my life again.

So, was this a mistake? I'm thinking of the opportunity cost, two years of my life I could be spending working and traveling and writing instead. I had writers friends in New York I could have stuck with. I could have found a writing group there. I could have pursued ambitious big projects-that would have maybe paid off. I could have taken 2 months off and spent all my time writing and been more productive.

I'm here to learn-and I am learning, I am writing, but I also learned so much about life and writing when I traveled. I learned so much by reading and reading all the time, reading books on writing. My friends in NY work full time and write books in their spare time. I was writing in NY, too, writing and happy.

But maybe I'm thinking of it now through different lenses, and if I hadn't left NY I would have gotten tired of it, gotten tired of my habits, watched Netflix instead of wrote. Maybe I'm just not trying enough, and I need to make the most of the opportunity here. Maybe I need to recognize it for what it is instead of feeling like it is not good enough.

But what if it really isn't? Canada is not the center of literary genius, and that's what I want, not just good enough, but brilliant. And I feel like no one has that, no one recognizes that naked ambition here. And I need to feel like it's possible.

Or is this just, a momentary downswing? Stress about grad school, stress about too much to do, cold and gray winters? (I moved back to New York in the middle of February, I was running around doing TaskRabbit to make money, photographing dogs while the snow was falling and my feet froze, and it was painful, but I was happy then.) Should I try and pick up the pieces of my life in New York? Should I quit and start over? Or should I stick with it, try and hope it'll get better? Should I stop being indecisive? Will it get better?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Any move is difficult, and you've not only moved coasts, but entire countries. You've just started a new program, which means that you're in a whirlwind of meeting new colleagues, faculty/advisors, and getting the hang of the academic demands of your program. You're probably several time zones away from your friends and family. Plus, the seasons are changing and we're only getting less and less sunlight this time of year. So, take a breath.

Canada is not the center of literary genius, and that's what I want, not just good enough, but brilliant.

I'd look at this statement, and ask yourself why you choose to pursue the MFA. Why Vancouver? I know you say it was somewhat fueled by this desire to see Canadian Hippie again, but there were probably ways to see him again without also signing up for a MFA program. What does the purported brilliance (or lack thereof) of others in your program or city mean to you? What does it mean, to fall short of brilliant? What does it mean about you? There are brilliant people everywhere, and you only need to meet a few to have a good experience in a program.

I think the Canadian Hippie romance subplot isn't a specific factor for your unhappiness, but rather it is representative of how you might have a tendency to romanticize things (New York, Canadian Hippie Guy) and end up disappointed. I do not think that your unhappiness is truly location-dependent.

Hang in there!
posted by gemutlichkeit at 10:43 PM on November 8, 2015 [10 favorites]

I had a rough spot around this time of my first year in grad school. My brother-in-law said something about mental and emotional struggles being part of the grad school experience, and I think he's on to something.

Can you afford to cut back on some of that freelance work? Maybe find a job on campus? It might be good to have less on your plate and focus more on your program.

I wonder, if you drop out, if you'll always wonder what would have happened if you stuck it out. Sure, it's not NYC, but Vancouver is pretty fantastic.

You are traveling and writing; you're just on a slightly longer trip.

Also, I'd like to gently suggest you be more open to what your classmates and instructors have to teach you. I suspect you are learning more than you realize.

And instead of trying to recreate your NYC life there, try something new. Maybe go out for poutine instead of coffee? Watch a hockey game or MLS soccer? Check out Vancouver Island?

I say give it another semester, and then stick it out. And then go back to NY. You and your writing will be stronger because of it.

Good luck! Oh, and find out about grad student support groups through student health.
posted by bluedaisy at 10:56 PM on November 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

It sounds like the MFA isn't helping you much or you're not feeling it's worth it at the moment.

I had a master's program where some (surprisingly many) classes just weren't worth it and the quality was variable, however it gave me good personal connections and friendships with some really smart people that were worth it. It also got me living a place I wanted to be and lent more legitimacy for certain jobs in the future. Overall it was worth it, but yours might not be.

Do not think only about the formal educational parts of the program but consider the broader pros and cons, too.

Having said all that, what are the things about this program that made you decide on it to start with? How did you think it would help you? Advanced advice, mentoring, structure, job prospects, what?

If you think most of those things are not realistically helpful based on your experience then maybe it is time to reassess.

The problem is you don't want to simply quit if it's temporary doubts or other problems that will soon resolve themselves. You don't want to stay in something for longer than needed if it sucks, either.

Personally, if i really didn't know, I'd probably set myself a reasonable deadline for making a decision (say finishing the semester) and in the meantime try to make the most from where you are by giving it all your positive energy and the positive involvement you can muster. If it still sucks then, you've given it a fair chance and it's time to move on.

I think maybe the indications point toward moving back to NY (especially if part of your motives in going to Vancouver were hoping the ex friend turned into a boyfriend). If you need a decision this second then move back. If you're really unsure then giving yourself a reasonable decision date will help you feel less trapped and give you something to work towards.

Good luck.
posted by clickingmongrel at 11:11 PM on November 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I just don't know if I belong here, it feels wrong

You don't need to belong there. Nobody is asking you to make Vancouver your forever home. You're there on a time-limited basis to do the job of getting an MFA. Remove this variable from your mental math.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:13 PM on November 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

I have a creative writing MFA. My experience was mixed, but one thing that stands out now is that I could have better researched the faculty. I also had the obstacle of a professor leaving and her having been the most experimental faculty member, leaving me scrambling.

Though I feel like things worked out okay, I don't think I researched enough programs. Especially if you picked that program in part to be with a boy, it may not be a good fit for you. And if you focus on finding a program you like better, then it's not the same as dropping out, now is it?

School is so hard during breakups and breakups force us to question everything anyway. That happened to me during my MFA and I will never be glad for it but I am glad that I got closer to classmates because of it.

One big question is why you feel like you need an MFA, of if you are there to improve your craft, which can be done in other ways. But if you need an MFA so you can be tenure-track or something, that might affect what you do.

I don't know what genre you write, but I do know a couple writers in Vancouver, so feel free to msg me here if it'd help to connect with others.

Good luck!
posted by mermaidcafe at 11:19 PM on November 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

You sounds really homesick for New York! I don't really blame you, but I also hope you'll give the city a bit more of a chance. (Also, grad school is at least as hard emotionally as it is is in other ways-- first semester in particular. So I'm seconding the suggestion above, about taking advantage of available resources).

But here's my sideways suggestion for how to manage your feelings of disappointment toward the city and your program as a place to work in your craft, particularly in the shorter term: Vancouver may not be the centre of literary genius, but it is full of stories. Maybe taking some time to explore it as a literary and geographical tourist might help you find your way in and take your mind off how you're feeling. To get you started, my favourite Vancouver text is Daphne Marlatt's Ana Historic, which offers a postmodern exploration of women's lives in the early days of the city that extrapolates and imagines from archival research. Although the city has changed, you might be able to walk parts of the (poetic) novel. Lisa Robertson's Seven Walks From the Office For Soft Architecture is a neat little book of poetry and essays. Ecopoetic. Mappable and walkable (mostly). The Paper Hound has a well-curated shelf of Vancouver books and some real gems turn up there; you might find something more to your liking than my suggestions. Exploring Vancouver guided by what has been written about it might help open it up to you as a place that can both nurture and inspire you as a writer. Or it might not. But you'll have taken some good walks.
posted by bibliotropic at 1:10 AM on November 9, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm going to indulge in some huge over-generalizations here. I've never done a MFA and I don't know the makeup of your peers, but a few of your complaints seem to me as a workshop-attendee in Canada to be cultural issues.

When I was in a workshop with Alistair Macleod (RIP) he said something that has stuck with me as an editor ever since. He said that he always took the position of the book...was the book as fine as it might be. If you are used to a style of feedback that is meant to Bring Out The Genius Writer in you, you may need to speak to your professors. It's not the Canadian literary scene to be focusing on the next rock star. It's about giving people tools to figure that out for themselves, along with a bit of suspicion about terms like The Best. Alice Munroe expresses this mentality hugely well, but it is endemic. From my limited understanding it's a difference from some of the US programs. But my bias is that it is much healthier -- less intense, for the would-be protege. But resulting in fewer pyrotechnics.

Canadian workshops (except for That One Guy) IME in general tend to first establish a baseline respect. The feedback is not high-pitched. It's only later on in your course -- if it's a two year program I would guess March or next year -- that students go for the jugular. Canadian literary thinking in general focuses more on craft than genius and so workshops also tend to focus on gradually building core competencies over time rather than tearing up things in grand sweeps of feedback.

That you are getting told about flaws you "could have edited" tells me you have craftsmanship to work on. Either you're being sloppy, or you are not listening to the voice in your head about the edits, both of which are things you need to address. Bring a fully edited piece and see what the feedback is then. Your peers may subconsciously be waiting for you to get that under control before they start to comment on deeper flaws. Or, they may not unless you invite them to. Up here we kind of see that as a bit up to you...ask better questions and you may get better answers.

I say this hoping you can get more out of your program -- and indeed, give you some cultural information from which to write -- while you decide, but also because I suspect your grand Hippie Romance points to the same issue -- looking for the big win rather than incremental growth. This may not be the best program for you, in terms of the key to writing the great American novel. But it may teach you how to create your own key. Best of luck with it.
posted by warriorqueen at 5:59 AM on November 9, 2015 [16 favorites]

One big question is why you feel like you need an MFA, of if you are there to improve your craft, which can be done in other ways. But if you need an MFA so you can be tenure-track or something, that might affect what you do.


I can't address the other parts of your question. Really, only you can decide if the adjustment of living in Vancouver is worth it to you. It's one of the difficult things about masters programs, in my experience. Just as soon as you're settling in, they're over.

But I can address the MFA, as both someone who has one and as a professional writer. What are your goals in writing?
  • If you want to write a book: you don't need an MFA for that, especially if you're able to be productive while holding down a full time job.
  • If you want to sell and publish a book, you don't need an MFA for that, either. Finish a book, write a query letter, and look for a literary agent. Most professional, published writers I know do not have MFAs.
  • Do you want to write and publish literary fiction or poetry and become established in that world? Then the MFA is a great way to network and be viewed as legitimate at AWP. Consider working for the literary magazine at your school or starting a journal. Understand that advances on royalties in literary writing are small and you'll probably have to make a living teaching or in another field.
  • Do you want to teach creative writing? Then great! The MFA is a terrific place to be.
  • Do you want to work in publishing? Go back to NYC and get an internship, which you can do without an MFA.
  • Do you want to be in workshops or writing groups? You can do that anywhere. You don't need an MFA program for that.
  • Do you want to work with a specific faculty member at your program? Then stay where you are and make sure to take advantage of your situation.
  • Are you in a niche genre and does your program cater to that genre? Think Hollins or VCMFA for children's literature. From what I've seen, specialist programs tend to handle the professionalization aspects of the MFA better than general "creative writing" programs, which are often specialist (literary) without saying so.
I hope these questions help you figure it out. I wish someone had asked me, when I got my MFA. It was an okay experience in some ways, but a painful experience realizing that my MFA wouldn't help me reach my goals (being a published writer) any better than I could on my own.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:23 AM on November 9, 2015 [13 favorites]

You are facing a major life decision and there are a whole lot of complicated factors playing into it. I can't begin to tell you what to do, but I can tell you my own experience, and tell you what broader lessons I draw from it.

I went to a graduate writing program because I've always had a very academic mindset, so it made sense to me that formal academic training was the way to become a professional writer. Soon after arriving, I began to have doubts. My fellow students were of dramatically varying levels of ability. My most vivid memory of that first year is probably a professor explaining the difference between "it's" and "its" to one of the other students. I was horrified that this was necessary in a graduate-level writing program.

I got some helpful feedback from other professors and other students, but it wasn't really enough to justify the time and expense of graduate school. I learned some things about story structure, but I could have learned them from any number of books on the subject.

I stuck with it for good reasons (I believe in finishing what I started; I was learning something) and bad ("I'm in grad school" was a more socially acceptable thing to say than "I dropped out of grad school and I'm not sure what comes next.") With hindsight, I wish I had just cut my losses and quit.

I ultimately did become a working writer, but I don't think graduate school made that happen faster or more easily. I also was able to get a job teaching writing at a university level for one semester, and I'm sure my graduate degree made that possible -- but the job didn't last long, and did not come close to repaying the considerable cost of my degree.

So that's my personal experience. The broader lessons I draw from it:

• Writing a lot, then getting feedback on it from people who know how to give helpful feedback, is the only way to improve your writing. It also helps to give feedback to other people who are at roughly the same level as you, since it's often easier to spot flaws in other people's writing than your own.

• Graduate school provides a structure. It forces you to write, which can be helpful if you don't have the discipline to write on your own. However, if you are truly able to motivate yourself, you do not need grad school to do this for you.

• Graduate school provides you with peers who will offer you feedback. You can do this on your own, too, although you are then depending not only on your own motivation but on the motivation of the other people in your critique group. I have been in a couple of critique groups that have fallen apart -- but I did eventually find one that was an excellent fit, and that has stayed healthy and helpful for five years and counting. At any rate, it sounds as though the critiques your grad school is providing are not terribly helpful.

• Grad school can provide you with contacts that will offer you emotional and practical support in your writing career -- but that only happens if you make genuine connections with your fellow students. It sounds as though that is not happening for you right now. Personally, as much as I liked some of my grad school classmates, I have completely lost touch with all of them, and my own professional contacts ended up coming from elsewhere.

In short: graduate writing school can sometimes be a wonderful, life-changing experience for people. It certainly was for George Saunders, but it wasn't for me. Your experiences sound a lot closer to mine than to George Saunders'.
posted by yankeefog at 6:43 AM on November 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yes, drop out immediately.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:24 AM on November 9, 2015 [3 favorites]

When faced with a tough decision I like to make a list of all the things I care about, a list of all the choices, and then score how each of the second by the first. Also, consider that your choices are not only stay in Vancouver MFA or quit and return to New York. You could quit and start a new MFA in New York. You could quit and go travel the world some more. You could move to new city and do something totally different. You could stay and adjust your goals. etc... I already hear you enumerating several options, under "I could have...". These are still options, why not flesh them out into possibilities and see how they rank?

Some example criteria might be: Career advancement - skills; career advancement - networking; being near family; opportunity to make friends; short-term finances; long-term finances; personal / emotional growth; cultural depth; connection to the land and city; climate; feeling of being near the center of it.... etc. Think carefully about all the things you care about.

Make a table, criteria down the side, options along the top, and rank each one. The criteria do not need to be equally weighted - you can choose to make some more important than others. The point is that once you start assigning scores, you will probably start to notice patterns. Some options that feel like real options will actually take you farther away from you life goals in many of the dimensions you care about. Others will score well on a lot of the points. You can narrow it down to the few best options, and then have a clearer sense of how each one is going to serve you in different ways, and what goals are more important to you right now.
posted by PercussivePaul at 7:50 AM on November 9, 2015 [4 favorites]

I have not done an MFA, but do have a graduate degree. The biggest part of your post that makes me think you should drop out is that you're not impressed with your classmates and professors, and don't feel like they are helping you grow. When I did my graduate program, it was (and is) the hardest thing I've ever done, both emotionally and intellectually. I definitely cried and was stressed out a lot. And in the end, looking back on the experience, I am glad I did it, because it opened up career oportunities for me that I would not otherwise have AND because the people I met there are hands down some of the most brilliant, interesting, and inspiring people I've ever know (both fellow students and professors). And they are people who stood up with me at my wedding, who I still co-author research with, whose kids I babysit, and who I expect will be close friends who push me to be my best for the rest of my life.

That is to say, I think the benefit of a graduate program (as opposed to just doing whatever it is you want to do/learn on your own) is twofold:
1. The credential, which may or may not be something you need to move forward with your desired career goals.
2. The people you meet, and the way they push you, change you, and cause you to think of things in new and exciting ways.

I'm not sure whether #1 is part of the draw for you -- that's something to carefully consider, that even if the environment isn't the best, maybe having that piece of paper at the end will be worth it for your longer-term goals. But is sounds like #2 is not happening at this particular program. So, unless that credential means a lot to you, I would cut my losses, stop wasting tuition money, and move on.
posted by rainbowbrite at 8:06 AM on November 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Hmm, yes... to me the answer to this depends a lot on whether or not you are paying for this degree. You say you are "making way less" in Vancouver but are you in a fully-funded MFA where you get a small stipend? If not, sure, maybe it makes financial sense to cut your losses and quit. But if you are...

You say:
But somehow everything feels a little off, a little less good. I can't be as fully present, and it's just so very rare that I feel happy, really happy. Instead, I cry, sometimes at seemingly the smallest disappointments.

These are, to me, feelings that it would be worth exploring and working through where you are. Grad school is so, so hard and I think every grad student I know has experienced feelings of depression, loneliness, isolation (for which: therapy, therapy, therapy!); both despite and because of this, grad school is also an incredible opportunity to grow and learn about yourself. You are probably right that Vancouver is not full of writers writing the way New York is; but the other side of that coin is that there are SO MANY WRITERS in New York, writing about New Yorky things and having New Yorky experiences. I don't mean that you should be making yourself miserable for the sake of your future writing, but rather, can you find a way to embrace and try to understand this place where you are now? Can you find other friends here who miss New York (because surely there are other former New Yorkers in Vancouver) and bond with them over who you would kill for a decent bagel? It might be worth at least trying these things before you decide to move away.

And finally, I think I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend this brilliant Ask Polly column on a similar subject, in which she advises:

...don't focus ONLY on the future. You can start cultivating gratitude right now. Gratitude for what you have right now will light your path to a great life. So you have to straddle two worlds, old and new. You have appreciate that little square of grass and recognize that it is enough, and you also have to reach out for the whole world, where anything is possible. You have to admit that you are disappointed, but you also have to allow room for hope.

You have to let in the full scope of your emotions, the good and the bad. Can you feel either? Don't tell yourself you can't feel anything because everything sucks right now. Don't tell yourself you're a thinker, not a feeler. Stop going around in circles in your head, and start feeling. You won't appreciate a happy future you can't feel.

There is absolutely no shame in leaving a situation that isn't right for you, but also don't pass up opportunities to enrich your life a little bit with this new experience, for as long or as short a time as you are there.
posted by Owl of Athena at 9:03 AM on November 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

The thing about writing classes that most improved my own craft wasn't receiving feedback from others but rather taking the time to carefully read and form critiques about other people's work, regardless of its quality (a ton of what I read was mediocre, in my opinion). That process blew my writing right open. Perhaps this is an aspect of school you can focus on while making your decision, and see if it changes anything for you.
posted by sallybrown at 9:49 AM on November 9, 2015 [5 favorites]

Sallybrown's comment above made me think of an essay I read this weekend, by writer Ann Patchett, called "The Getaway Car." It's in a collection of her essays called "This is the Story of a Happy Marriage." It's an essay all about being a writer and her experiences in the MFA program at Iowa. She says basically what Sallybrown said, which was the best part of the MFA program was being exposed to all these works in progress from other writers and being able to learn from the problems in those drafts, not the feedback she received on her own drafts.
posted by megancita at 10:22 AM on November 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

As someone who's spent their entire life in Vancouver identifying with and investigating literary writing, there is a lot I can empathize with in your post. Certainly at times this city can be one where it isn't always easy to feel comfortable in your skin! It's also a city that has a lot to offer and affords many many moments and opportunities for feeling at peace, welcome, alright with things. So a lot of that is going to come down to your approach and where you are doing your looking. Your experience can and will be very different on a neighbourhood by neighbourhood basis. But if you want to, it's available.

On the other hand, you sound very committed to making an obstacle of the fact that this is not New York. The list of places that are not New York is a hell of a lot longer than the list of places that in fact are New York, and I suspect you knew this when you chose to move away for a while. If that's insurmountable for you, then I think you know your answer.

If the question is about the value of an MFA program or the particularities of your current program, I think you've received a lot of excellent advice above. If it's about a certain Canadian hippy you came to pursue, and I do think that is colouring your perspective on both school and city, well at least now you know what you couldn't see at a distance. On the other hand, if that's your type then let's just say there are certainly plenty more fish of that stripe in this particular sea. If it's about the value of the literary scene and history you feel you need, I would politely argue that I suspect there is more there there than you may have ascertained a first glance. Get connected with The Western Front, get connected with The Capilano Review, get connected with the readings and literary events that take place within the art scene. Whatever kind of writing it is you value, I can assure you there is a community for you here for that. Certain networks take a bit of time to integrate oneself into, a lot of what takes place occurs outside the moneyed spotlight of institutional support, but it is 100% out there.

Basically my advice is to take a breather and give yourself some time to settle into where you've brought yourself. I'm concerned you appear to set yourself up for failure by joking about dropping out before you'd even made the move, so if what you've chosen isn't what you wanted, only you can know that. If you'd like to get coffee and vent a little, I offer my ear and I can try to point you in a few directions I'm aware of. Please get in touch if you want to chat more. Best of luck coming to a decision, I'm sure it will all work out in the end.
posted by kaspen at 2:32 PM on November 9, 2015

Something about the way you have written this makes me want to suggest something to you. Which is: find a really good friend who has known you for years. Ask them what they think about your mood. I'll apologise for saying this but I think you've got some grandiose thinking going on. Are you sleeping ok?

Having said that any creative work is all about the hard, unglamorous graft. The pleasurable bits don't generally arrive without the bits that suck. Well - it's different for everybody, I guess there are some lucky people who are flying all the time. My feeling is you might want to be cautious about feelings of creative elation. Just because it feels good doesn't mean it is good.

It's also possible that the course isn't the right one for you. Are there any student services you can talk this through with?
posted by glasseyes at 4:50 PM on November 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

OP, please memail me if you'd like my perspective on why I left Canada and started over elsewhere. You are not crazy. Similar reasons were involved.
posted by stuck on an island at 6:30 AM on November 10, 2015

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