Thursday, January 15, 2009

Kicking the can down the road

Last week, I started struggling with a very big decision for 2009.

I was seriously considering deferring graduation from May to December, for a whole bunch of reasons, a bunch of which I've just been writing about for the past few days and another few reasons y'all may or may not know.

Upon returning from the odyessy across fourteen states, I started to really look at whether or not it was a good idea to stick with my plan of taking four (!) courses this semester and graduate now, compared to taking two classes now and two classes in the Fall, and graduating in December.

It was a hard choice, which was due on Friday at the close-of-business, and I went back and forth all week debating the pros and cons of both, seeking advice (including from some of you), and weighing all different types of costs and benefits for both myself and the rest of the family.

There were a whole bunch of reasons to put off two of my classes until the Fall:

  • We would have more of a cushion if the job market remained poor for us into the latter part of the year.
  • We wouldn't feel as rushed in each semester to balance time
  • I could focus better on two classes at a time, rather than four
  • Less stress in the Spring, and possibly more time spent on each remaining class
  • A better focus on work and everyone/everthing else

I was struggling with the decision all week.

On Friday, I finally decided to keep things the same, and take four classes, for a bunch more reasons:

  • By extending, I'd have fewer chances to travel or take time off
  • By extending, I might be tied down to my current job through 2012 instead of 2011 - while I do like it here (and I'm not just saying that because some of you in the office read this) it's always best to keep options open because you don't know what will happen in the future.
  • More student loans to pay off when I'm done. Even though the amount is high now, making it higher isn't something I really want to do.
  • There's no guarantee I'd spend the extra time in Spring studying or doing something productive.
  • The classes I want/need might not be available in the Fall.
  • By extending, we are tied down to the same company and potentially the same city until 2012 instead of 2011.

So, in the end, I decided to bite the bullet and take all four classes this semester: Consulting Practices and a Capstone class on Monday, and Finance and IT Management on Wednesday.

My last day of classes will be April 29. Assuming I don't collapse under the workload, I will graduate on May 15, four months from today.

Perhaps I will reward myself by going somewhere in June. I think after the work I will have done by then, I deserve it. I'll be putting in 75-80 hours a week between work and school, I think that's enough of a down payment!

No comments: