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Big News: Life Choices

So I’ve been sitting on this for about a week but I had to wait to make sure that certain parties (i.e. The Girls and the rents) were informed personally of this decision before I blogged about it. I’m about to burst with excitement to announce it to the world.
 
I’ve decided to go to grad school in the UK, London, specifically for the ’09-’10 academic year.

It was an idea I had knocked around a little bit after I graduated SU, and I’m sure I brought it up a year or so ago. Still even though it was an idea of what I would like to do I wasn’t really taking it too seriously. When I thought about grad school when Cathy and I were studying for the GRE together last summer I was thinking of East Coast schools. I’ve ditched that idea and am now going full force towards London.
 
Why the change? I don’t know I guess a few things. I think I’m ready to commit myself to this now. I’ve been out of school long enough to get a good break, try my hand at the real world, do the relationship thing, do the job thing etc, etc. This June, I will have been on my own for three years and it feels like a good time to return. Not just because it sounds good but I think I’m mentally ready. I’ve been happy for the past year and a half. I’m afraid of getting too comfortable. I need to mix things up, push myself and follow my dream. I’m such a snob about my education that there’s no question about my eventually getting a Master’s. I’ve always wanted to live in London. Well it just makes sense for the two to be complimentary.
 
Also I feel like I’m up for the challenge. I’m a LOT more confident in my abilities than I was, say, when I was applying or entering Seattle U. When I think about it, there are a lot of things that I wanted to do which got done! I got my BA at SU (my top choice school). I worked at an awesome independent magazine for three years. I got to go to Paris, (and also Sydney, NYC and Hawaii). Even that silly New Years resolution of “1) get skinny 2) learn to Tango” has become a reality! Granted, all of those things I did I did “With a little help from my friends” as Ringo would say, I can’t take all the credit. Never the less, with the support of my family and friends, I’m ready to take on a challenge and once again commit myself to a goal.
 
I’m currently looking at two schools in Greater London. One is a bit closer to Central London, which is attractive to me. The other one’s further out in the ‘burbs, though still only a 20 minute train ride to Central London. (Actually it’s in a town next to Surbiton which is where the Goods lived on Good Neighbors. Just the fact that I know that attests to the fact that I should go to school across the pond, right?) If I remember off the top of my head they’re both about comparable in price. About 10,000 pounds a year for overseas students (and it looks like you can apply for a scholarship as well that takes a couple thousand pounds off that number if you apply fast enough). Also an MA is one year at both schools, though the one further out also has an MFA for two years in my field. If I go for that I could, potentially, go for the MA then apply for the MFA if I wanted to stay. Haven’t put as much thought into that yet.
 
How I intend to pay for it is the same way I intend to pay for Seattle U. Actually in comparison this MA is a hell of a lot cheaper than SU. I’m already $80-$100K in debt for my Bachelors, what’s another $25-50K. (You know Samuel told me SU is $27k a year now for undergrad? Jesus H. Christ!) Plus I’m more internet savvy and a better writer and the general competition pool is a bit smaller for scholarships and grants for post grads (I hope, anyway). I plan to do extensive research on any possibility for free money, if available.  
 
Obviously, I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. Applying itself is one of the first steps and it’s a large task in and of itself with many steps involved like picking what piece I want to use for my writing sample, my recommendations, my personal essay, transcripts, etc. Then, if I get in to one of the schools there’s the scholarships, student VISA, housing, finding a place to put all my shit and put my Seattle life on hold for 10 months etc.
 
It’s scary but exhilarating to think about. It’s scary to think of being alone in a foreign city, where I don’t know any one or where the hell I’m going while being a broke-ass student again. I’m deeply going to miss my city, my cheap rent, my bars, my friends, my parents and, of coarse, my Girls. (Though thanks to the internet we can stay very connected even while I'm half a world away.) Still the opportunity makes it all worth while. The fact that I’ll be living my dream of living over there will be enough to get me through. All the stuff that scares me to think about, also kind of makes me more excited for me to get that far and find out how I’m going deal with it. The fact that I’m doing so much research already getting figures, prospectuses, applications and talking to people, goes to show that I’m really serious about this. I’m not going to let it fall to the way side. Assuming I get accepted into a school, I’m going to make it happen.  
 
Alright enough babbling. Needed to get that out so I can keep that application essay to 500 words. :P 
 

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
aeme
Apr. 15th, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
I think that sounds fabulous, Mir. How exciting!
pandapropaganda
Apr. 15th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm so very excited. I couldn't keep it in any longer.

eeep!
oniglass
Apr. 15th, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
CONGRATS!!!
pandapropaganda
Apr. 15th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
Why thank you, love. :)
perkyevil
Apr. 15th, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
Neat!
When you get closer to moving I'll need to get you the contact info for an lod undergrad friend of mine. He lives in London, but spends a good amount of time traveling. He's a great guy to go out drinking with.
pandapropaganda
Apr. 15th, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Neat!
For sure! I'll need a drinkin' buddy when I first arrive. Yeay! Thanks!
antigrl117
Apr. 16th, 2008 12:05 am (UTC)
This might make me sound like an ass, but your $80-100K debt makes me feel a little better about my $35-40K debt ;-) (Everyone else I talk to has like...10 or less).

I've kind of had the "oh well I'm already in a shitton of debt, what's another 2 years of public grad school."

I think it's a fantastic choice! (And I should get off my butt and come visit you before you leave so I can say I see you once every 10 years ;-) ).
pandapropaganda
Apr. 16th, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC)
ha ha ha. You're not an ass. It's okay to feel better about your amount of debt. I chose to go to a really expensive school but it was worth it. (And I hope in pays off in applying for grad school, as it should.)

It's still really abstract to me. When I was going to school I kept signing those loans thinking nothing about them except that my signature meant that I could still go to class that qtr. I figured the reality of paying them off would make it more real and less abstract, but it doesnt. The payments I make every month are very real and I make a damn point to pay it. Still, the total amount is so big it's totaly abstract.

Realy if you dont count the living expences and the expences in going to another country. The tuition itself is like a quarter of what I paid for SU. Crazy.

We should get together some time. Perhaps we could have luch some Saturday or something. OR...when are you in the city?
antigrl117
Apr. 17th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
Yes! (about getting together haha)

I work until 1pm on Saturdays, but I'm in the U District almost every week day for school (except not this coming week, we're on Passover break from today until the 29th).
pandapropaganda
Apr. 18th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
hmmm. We could do a Saturday Lunch date, or an after school Happy hour dinner date in the begining of May. I'm off work at 3:30 so after that I'm free. I know of a handfull of places with cheap food during happy hour but none in the U-Dist, more Cap Hill and Downtown.
angelsong
Apr. 16th, 2008 12:18 am (UTC)
fucking awesome Mir!!!! Congrats!!!!
pandapropaganda
Apr. 16th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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