So, lack of money is the primary motivator here. I will admit that I've become uncertain that I want to continue with grad school. However, were I still getting it completely paid for with grant money, I would most likely continue going. I am essentially half way done already. Though I did not take the proper number of credits to actually be half way done.... I would most likely have to throw on an additional semester, which doesn't seem to be entirely uncommon when working on your thesis anyway.
But, if I'm already uncertain about continuing with this, there seems to be no logical reason to keep going if, in order to do so, I would need to shell out the money and, subsequently, put myself into further debt. That's just not a smart choice no matter how you look at it.
So now I'm looking at no school and no job.... which is alright for a short period of time, but if I continue to be out of school I will eventually have to start paying on my student loans again. And, despite the fact that we're comfortable right now, financially speaking, we would not continue to be so if I had to start dishing out monthly student loan payments.
Subsequently, I have begun looking for a job. Though, truth be told, I think I would go crazy if I went without one much longer. I was so overwhelmed with school related stress over the past year that the sigh of relief I breathed upon the close of this past semester was enormous. Yet, I have barely gone 2 months now of "freedom" and I think I may go mad. This forces me to confront a new problem - well, not necessarily new, but long overlooked. I have nothing to offer in the job market. It's excruciating. I'm over-educated and under-experienced. A fact that became abruptly apparent last fall when I was declared 'ineligible' during the hiring process for CBP. The agent who was to be conducting my background checks questioned why a Penn State graduate was even applying for the position. I mean, thanks for the vote of confidence and all - frankly, I think I'm too smart to do this bullshit job also, but the job security is amazing and it looks pretty damn spectacular next to no job at all.
I'm also picky. I'm not going to go back to retail and I'm not going to take any old job just because I want a job. I know, I should be thankful that there are jobs out there, blah blah blah. I know. I don't care. There are always jobs out there. The fact of the matter is we often think we're too good to do the jobs that are available. Yes, I know I'm playing right into my own criticism.
However, I also know that, for the time being, I'm not desperate. I can afford to be choosy right now. Also, I have lessons learned from past jobs to look back on.... I know that if I take a position doing something which I don't enjoy or doesn't pay well, that I will most likely get stuck in that position for longer than I would like. It becomes much harder to actively pursue a better job if you're spending all of your time either working or being glad you're not at work. This is the perpetual cycle that I hate and am trying to avoid falling into. We work because we need to - we need money, for bills or to do other things we would enjoy. Then we spend all the time that we're not working spending that money - either on a vacation to "escape" work, on other toys/amusements, or on necessities. Then the money is gone and we must go back to work. This leaves us with a workforce that is constantly demoralized, and doesn't have to time or energy to concern themselves with social issues, the way our country is being run, etc. And all those other things go to shit, because the people who need to care (pretty much everyone) are too busy living their lives. We're all busy. All the time. There's no way not to be. And then, at the end of our lives, we look back and realize that we never did anything we wanted to do. We never tackled the big issues, chased our dreams, or took a chance. And I don't want to live that live. I know that now. I know that I need to do certain things in order to fit into the mold of productivity and I'm willing to accept that - to a certain extent. But I am not willing to give up everything and become a mindless machine, programmed to feed into the perpetuation of the system....
God, I've never sounded so 'conspiracy theory' in my life. The point is.... I want to be happy, I want to be successful. There are so many things that I want out of life.... I need to take those things, rather than let my life be taken (metaphorically) from me. I don't really know right now how exactly I'm supposed to go about it, but I know that it's not going to be easy. And I'm ok with that. I just might need a little help along the way.