I have been trying to not think about my school/dance issue for the past couple of days. Here is what has been bubbling on the back burner. I have many options in moving forward with my goals. Let’s see:
- Stay in the program I am in: This would require me to acquiesce to the faculty and stop dancing. I could also finish what I started (question: is this a program and degree I want to stay with and be associated with?)
- Attempt to stay full time and fight the faculty: This is risky, as I could be asked to the leave the program, which could have a big impact on future employment and school opportunities. It also sounds exhausting to do this while in school full time. If I am able to continue dancing and stay in the program, it could have complicated ramifications. It seems like I would constantly have to assert myself and potentially fight with faculty throughout my time in the program.
- Stay in the program, but plan on leaving after this semester: This could give me more time to assess the whole situation, assert my perspective to faculty, but I would also need to acquiesce for the semester (and stop dancing). It seems like a good mix of things.
- Stay in the program, drop down to part time: I haven’t thought about this as much. Any “stay in the program” option requires me to most likely stop dancing.
- Withdraw from the program right now: This sounds nice in just getting away from the grossness, but also feels like a rushed decision. However, it would allow me to try to find a job and potentially apply to social work programs (I have found a couple that I like). Overall, this sort of set-up (working and in a social work program part-time) sounds best to me.
Factors at play for me include:
-I am really ready to have school be on the sidelines of my life. I want to go to school part time and work part time (or work full time and go to school less than part time).
-I feel antsy in being done with school. I want to be able to do counseling work, and so I feel like I need a counseling degree to be seen as legitimate by potential clients (in Oregon, I could be a relationship coach or counselor without a degree or license). I also want the formal training. But it sounds crummy to me to reapply to programs and start at a new one next fall.
-Time. I feel rushed in making a decision before January 6. I also don’t know how much time is ideal in making this decision.
-I have applied for a number of social service type jobs and I feel hopeful that one could work out relatively soon (in the next couple of months).
-Money. The program I am in now is expensive. I am mostly living on student loans. The amount of loans I have out now is manageable to pay back on my own. To go for one more semester I will be relying on the student loan repayment programs to get myself out from debt. I don’t want to stay in the program just because I don’t feel like I have enough time to make a decision, when that will really impact how much in loans I have.
-I feel sad thinking about leaving because: I love my advisor. I have come to know the people in my cohort so well in so little time, and I enjoy so many of them. I have been so excited about the sex therapy track at my school, and the intense clinical training there. It feels really disappointing to just leave.
Based on those factors and trying to make a rational, logical decision, it seems like withdrawing right now from the program could be best option. I think another top option is staying for one more semester and then withdrawing.
Trying to listen to what “feels best” is a lot more difficult for me. I feel overwhelmed by all of the different factors involved and potential ways I could go.
This is all slightly funny to me: in my last theories class (before all of this came up), our instructor asked us to draw a symbol of how we were feeling (about finishing up class, in general, in the moment). I drew a heart with several arrows moving outwards in many different directions. I remember explaining that I am just really excited about moving forward, but that I could see myself applying my skills and knowledge in many different ways. I am trying to retain that sense of excitement and not get bogged down in the stress of this situation.
To close, I wanted to include a parable that a reader sent to me. I really appreciated receiving this gift:
The story of The Truth and The Lie