How do you decide?
Do you use your full heart?
Or use your full mind?
Oh what will you do?
You'll have to decide now.
It's all up to you.
For sure I will be going to graduate school next year. I got in to my number 2 choice school with a full-ride (and an assistantship to cover fees) and government loans and possible outside scholarships should cover the rest. I also got in to my first choice. They did not give me any money however. Now, I have a serious decision to make.
Do I go with exactly what I want and have been looking for or do I go with the school that won't really cost me anything and is still ranked in the top 10 schools in the nation for Communications? One allows me the opportunity to work in my field and have experience by the time I graduate the other will allow a part-time job. One requires a thesis, the other doesn't. I've never visited either campus, but I know one will have a college feel to it and the other is at a professional center ... mostly adult students. There are so many weighing factors.
The other thing is, I am still waiting on a letter from the Smithsonian. It could take another month before it arrives. I am going to try and call this afternoon and see where my application is in the process. I don't mind waiting for the response - but if I get the fellowship, will that affect my decision?
I know I can't rely on anyone else to choose for me - I wouldn't want anyone to anyway. But the thing is, I am basing these options on the propaganda thrown out on the schools' websites. That's all I am using to make this decision. These are two communication schools - they know exactly how to write to convince someone of something. Am I falling victim to age old practices of persuasion? I forsee a plus/minus comparitive chart coming soon to a desk in front of me.
And work. Oh work. With one of the schools, I can - am encouraged to - have a full-time job. Where am I going to find that? I mean, I know where I could find one - or at least a paid internship or two - but am I ready to fall head first into a full-time position and graduate school? Either? I think so. But then again, I think alot of things. An eternal optimist falls harder when reality knocks them off the edge. I'd prefer not to fall at all.
And then there is summer work. I have a no-matter-what-happens fall back job for the summer. Then I have an application in at a summer camp. I also have an application in for a government internship. And for a job working for PBS. And if none of that works out, I can apply to work at the library in Fayetteville or to tutor at Methodist College. I think that although I knew it was the last summer of freedom last summer, it hasn't honestly hit me until now that it was.
But, for now, I am letting those things go. I am postponing making any decisions until after I have had a little time for everything to settle in. I will probably send out pleas for guidance (hint hint). Until I know though, I have to just keep moving with life here. I have a film festival next week. I am doing a three-class series on the movie National Treasure using a Disney made teaching guide and resources from the National Archives and Library of Congress. There is a birthday party on Friday and a vacation to plan. Oh yeah, and I have to keep teaching.
In my not desperate, but belleagured mental state (is that appropriate use of vocabulary?) I have to recognize the enormous blessings I have. I have family and friends who love and support me. Enough brains to have gotten me into two very reputable schools and also financial aid. And more than anything else (except my use of "and" as the first word of sentences today), I have choices and the right to make them. Long live freedom. Love always, ~Heather