Thursday, March 17, 2011

The cost of success: Is it worth it?

Whatever You want me to do, Lord, I will do.
Whatever You want me to say, Lord, I will say.
Whatever You want me to think, Lord, I will think.
Whatever path You have for me, Lord, I will walk.

  • Cost of each graduate credit at Florida State: $371.18
  • Number of hours needed to graduate with an MSW: 61
  • Total estimated cost of tuition for my Master's degree (to be completed in one calendar year): $22,641.98
  • Estimated cost of books: $3,000

Holy. Mother.

Anyone else see the problem here? The first being that I barely have enough money to survive, let alone the extra money I'll need to get me through the struggles of grad school. I'll be lucky to make time for my school work AND my job at the police department. With that kind of bill, I'd need something like one or two more jobs to have the appropriate income to make it work. My parents say that they'll work it out and get loans to help pay, but something just screams "BAD IDEA!" What if they can't pay? Or it ruins them financially? Or my name is linked to it and they can't pay, and I ruin mine and Justin's credit for the rest of our lives? There's no way I can fork up nearly $23,000 in one year. It's not happening. Not when I'm already in debt from my undergrad (which I'm proud to say I'll be beginning to pay off come my birthday!).

I considered telling my mother that I'm beginning to think going to graduate school [now] is a bad idea, but then decided against it because of the reaction that will ensue. I already know what she'll say and the reassurance that she'll promise, but I don't feel like it's enough security to guarantee it won't screw me over in the long run. I can't afford to mess things up. Not with marriage and a family looming in the near future.

I just wish my options were much simpler, and that I didn't have to make this decision. I wish I had been born into money, or that someone would just say, "Here's a million bucks, kid. Now get your butt through school." I already feel tied down financially, and it chokes me. I feel like I can't save money because I'm already in debt. Hurry up and spend it before the government takes it back!


God, please give me direction! Please pave me a road that is best suited to walk into your Kingdom! If I can't go to graduate school, Lord, please guide me to an opportunity that will ensure that I can get all my bills paid (because I know after my mom reads this, she won't be agreeing to pay my rent any longer!) Fill my soul with Your Holy Spirit, and grant me enough peace to bless others with Your glory through deed and word. I am but a vessel for You, Lord, and I pray that You continue to bless me with an eye for Your signs.

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