I decided my graduate school plan is a bust last Tuesday. Up until then I’d remained unsure, but with the first day of the program on the horizon, the realities of just how much money it really costs smacked me right in the face. With a frying pan. A really big, cartoon-sized frying pan. I mean, here’s the deal: I just graduated with a BA in English and was headed to a Master’s of Arts in Teaching program. I was thinking that I would teach for 5 years or so, and then transition into educational policy (or something within that realm). But this year and half program that would allow me to teach children for a salary of about $35,000 a year would cost me about $25,000. “But if you’re passionate about teaching, it will be worth it!” How in God’s name do I know if I’m passionate about something that I’ve never even tried?
I arrived at the conclusion that, for me, grad school would be a total gamble, and I exclusively play the penny slots in Vegas. And I only do that so I can get almost-free margaritas. I actually won $15 on one once and I screamed like I’d won $15,000,000. The old lady next to me took her pennies elsewhere. In short, I’m not much of a gambler.
But there are other factors aside from the gratuitous amount of money that I would have to borrow from and repay the government over an exceptionally long period of time. This became especially apparent on Tuesday when I wrote a letter to Vicki B. Escarra, President and CEO of the highly successful non-profit, ‘Feeding America Inc’. Ms. Escarra gave the commencement address at my graduation ceremony, and I found her to be particularly inspiring (picture me, on the edge of my seat, nodding in agreement to every grain of wisdom, my tassel flopping in unison, with an eager grin on my face, and the guy to my left...fast asleep...and the girl to my right...playing Angry birds on her phone). I was writing to express my appreciation for her inspiring reminder to stay open to possibility by not limiting oneself to the confines of a finite career path, and her encouragement to approach life as an exciting adventure, when I realized that I was doing the opposite. Graduate school can lead to possibilities and adventures, but I had chosen a program that was too specifically specific.
Conclusion: graduate school=too much money and too little flexibility. And above all, my gut was telling me that it wasn’t the right move for me.
The universe has many ways of leading us in the right direction if we open our hearts to its guidance. Cues appear everywhere, but we have to tune in and really listen. Connectivity is key. We can’t learn from what we don’t feel connected to. We have to understand that anything and anyone can have something valuable to offer us, but to do this we must eliminate our pride and judgement from the equation. Pride and judgement create a distance between us and the full experience of love, connectivity, and learning that life offers us.
So what’s a girl to do when she makes a life altering change in plans? Well, I don’t know what most girls would do, but this girl decided to go to DISNEY WORLD! Character audition? Yes, I did that.