This Quarter Life Crises Thing…

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm

I did it.  I survived high school with decent enough grades.  Strong enough that I was able to make my life long dream of attending Michigan State come true.

I did it.  I survived college.  Went to class.  Was a resident mentor.  And even managed to party here and there.  Embarked on the most amazing of journeys 1200 miles from home, and enjoyed every second.  And now?  Now I wish I could go back, and do it all over again.  Everyone said, “Amanda…this is going to be the greatest four years of your life.”  I knew it would be, too.  I just wish now that it never had to come to an end.  If money were unlimited, I’d stay in school till the day I die.

And now I’m faced with the question;  WHAT THE HELL DO I DO WITH MY LIFE?

It may seem like a relatively simple question.  But I assure you, it’s not.

There’s no denying I’ve been fortunate.  My parents were willing to take on the burden of paying for my college education.  For that, I’m eternally grateful.  I’ve been blessed with a job at a thriving tech company in Austin, and I just celebrated my 23rd birthday.  Really, life is great.  Except that nagging question hanging over my head.

A few years ago, I began to entertain the thought of attending law school upon my graduation.  In reality, I think it was my way of ensuring I had a plan for my future, and prolonging the inevitable need to come to terms with the end of my four years in East Lansing.  As long as I stayed in school, and stuck with that decision, I’d be fine.  My path would be laid for me, and I’d follow it — just like the green line you see in the finance commercials.

After my LSAT scores came back in November of my junior year of college,  I began wrestling with the idea of taking a year off after graduation.   But I told myself that meant failure.  No way. No how.  I couldn’t give up on my dream.  It wasn’t until my Assistant Hall Director, Adam, expressed his concern for me, that I realized, “Ok, taking a year off might not be such a bad idea.”  Afterall, law schools almost always say that “real world experience” is incredibly important when seeking admission.

That’s just what I did.  I moved home, and was offered a position.  As I said, I’m incredibly fortunate.  I understand how many people are struggling to find work right now, and I’m thankful I was given this opportunity.  My plan changed somewhat, but this time I told myself, “Okay, I’ll work for a year.  Then I’m headed to law school.”  I registered to take the LSAT in December of 09, and am currently waiting to hear back from prospective schools.

I went to Wells Fargo the other day to discuss my loan options.  I was  looking to take out a $16,000 loan for housing/food/living expenses.  Keep in mind that that’s one year’s expenses, and not tuition, etc.  After almost having a nervous breakdown in the bank, I began to question my choice.   I told my parents I’d take on the graduate school/law school responsibilities (and yes, I fully intend to do so, if I do indeed head away to law school.)  But, I’m unsure that I…pardon my language…have the “balls” to do such a thing.  There’s no guarantee in this world.  No guarantee that upon my graduation, I get a kick-ass job with a kick-ass salary.  Salary enough that I might pay back my loans at a decent rate, anyway.  Plus, lets be honest… the major firms will say “fuck off” to anyone that’s not a Yale, Harvard, or USC graduate. That’s not to say I couldn’t get a job working at one of these places, but I assure you it wouldn’t be easy.

It’s not that I’m trying to take the easy way out.  That’s not it at all.  I’m simply trying to make an educated decision before I incur this kind of debt.  And even though I have an undying idealist in me, when it comes to money, I have to be realistic.

What I’m saying is this:  Do I take the “dive in head first, never look back, no questions asked” sort of approach and risk all that’s involved?  Or do I take more time to ensure that I’m absolutely, 100% making the right decision for my future.  Because it reality, it’s not just my debt, but my future husband/family’s, too.

  1. I can remember this EXACT same scenario (with differing details, obviously) when I was about to graduate- in fact, my “breakdown” about not wanting to leave school came in the form of failing 3 of 4 classes in the semester I was to graduate, requiring me to return one more semester. (Which was a blessing in disguise, but that’s another story.)

    So know you’re facing the SAME thoughts everyone does at your point. All I can offer from my own experience (which started great and has turned into a nightmare of epic proportions) is that no matter how hard you plan, things are going to happen out of your control to change said plan.

    My advice: Figure out what will make you happy, and try your hardest to do that. Do NOT let work overrule your life (a lesson I wish I had known).

    If you focus on what you want and what will make you happy, money and finances will work themselves out- even if it means adjusting your “dream plan”.

    After all… It’s better to be in a bit of debt and making less money than it is making buckets of cash and hating life!

    Just my $.02! (Keeping in mind my career is destroyed, so maybe I don’t know what the heck I’m talking about! =P)

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