In June, assuming all goes as planned I will graduate with a B.Sc. in History with a minor in Political Science. It’s been five years plus a bit in the making, going to school part-time and evenings while working more-or-less full time.
I’m finishing spring break now and after spending several days at the seaside playing with my kids and staying in old motel on the beach I returned home to an email that informed me that I have been admitted to graduate school: a Master’s of Arts in History program. 15 months, fully online.
First reaction: Yay!
Then: Gulp. Holy shit. What have I gotten myself into?
So on one hand here I am—a 10th grade high school dropout with a GED who never took the SAT—about to start grad school: something I never, in all the years I have been whittling away at my bachelor’s, thought I would be able to accomplish.
On the other hand, I need to find a way to pay for it. And since History isn’t exactly one of the top-10 in-demand degrees, I’m concerned that if I take out loans to pay for it I’ll simply be saddled with an ever-increasing amount of debt that I may not be able to easily pay back.
I’m conflicted, scared, worried, and excited all at once. I need to find a job after graduating in June (Any Oregon dopers have any good leads?) but I’m not confident that will allay my sudden newfound fears regarding school. I sacrificed much to finish my undergrad—I moved 200 miles away from my wife and family to ensure that I had continuity in my education. My wife was finishing her associate’s degree at a community college and staying together would have meant one or the other of us would’ve had to quit school temporarily. Now, in a few short weeks, it will be over and I’ll be home and hopefully I will have a normal family again. That’s good. Maybe grad school will pale in comparison? I don’t know.
But I’m ready to take the plunge and to join the ranks of the college instructors that gave me so much encouragement and strength and many cheers as I struggled my way forward. I have no clue what this next chapter in my life will bring, but I welcome it.