The Decision

I have always believed that if you work hard, you will get to where you want to go. While that is true most of the time, I no longer wholeheartedly believe that. Some think it is silly that my dream is to go to grad school, but it is. To pursue something meaningful, to learn and take different classes and expand my way of thinking and stretch my mind more is exactly what I want to do right now. I will work hard. Happily and always. I don't have any shortage of motivation or will. But as much as I want to, I can't just go. I can't go to grad school without heavily thinking about all it entails. I have to think about the financial implications of such a decision. While I desperately want it, it doesn't mean I can have it right now. It doesn't mean it makes sense. Maybe now is not the time to do it. Maybe I have to wait. Does that kill me a little? Yes, it does. 

Going to the USC School of Social Work would mean I do that full time during the day while Caleb is at school. I am more than happy to do that, but I probably wouldn't have time for a job or two because I would be doing classes and internships during the week, and taking care of my little one. I thought I could live off my savings, which I could, but then I would be broke by the time school finished. I would literally have no more dollars. I don't care if the field I am passionate about doesn't pay that much. It only matters because coming out of grad school, my student loan payments could realistically be over a thousand dollars a month. I want this to make sense. I want to do this more than anything. I always have. It just doesn't make sense right now. Not yet. And it really pains me to see no plausible option. It doesn't seem fair to my little family to take a great risk with such financial downfall. I do believe I could get a job after grad school, definitely. I just don't know if $165,000 in student loan debt is worth it. My heart screams YES IT IS WORTH IT. THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED. THIS IS YOUR CHANCE! TAKE IT AND RUN! But not when I have to face the reality every month, that loan payments could be over a thousand dollars. Not when I have a child that I have to care for. As much as I want to do this, it has to make sense. It has to work for Caleb and I. If I won lottery, I would:

1) Pay my debt.
2) Go to grad school.
3) Move to a house for Caleb & I.

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Sometimes the answer is not to just work hard. Because work hard, I will gladly do. Sometimes the answer might be to wait. Sometimes money really is a roadblock you can't get around. I hate that. I will continue to look into other schools, but Cal States right now are not doing so hot. I have applied, and have been wait listed. Funding is being cut even more, so I feel like my chances of getting in are slimmer. I can't go anywhere outside of So Cal because Caleb and I are stationed here. Going out of state or anywhere else is not an option unfortunately. The answer to school is still not a NO right now, but it is looking like it. A final answer will come soon.
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Now, I must make other plans and remember how blessed I am, regardless of my disappointment of this hard decision.

 

Caleb & Jeep
See how pleased he is? It's because he put his hat on backwards. Funny how he likes doing that so much.