I hope you’re all doing well, the weather is being kind to you wherever you are, you ate something good today, everyone was wearing their mask whenever you went out (or better yet, you got to stay home to protect yourself) and you got to pet puppies in your dreams or in real life. Today, I’m sharing some personal news and talking about it that I’m actually a bit conflicted about, so here we go!
But, this year, I got accepted into graduate school to pursue a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing!
This should be great news, right? I should be overjoyed to be able to pursue my craft at a higher level. And there are a few reasons that I’m quite excited, including:
- My university is paying for most of it, through a tuition assistance program at my job (at the same university), which is the only way I could afford to do such a thing
- Ever since I dropped out of grad school in December of 2015, I’ve always wondered if that was the right decision. This will allow me to scratch that itch and finish what I started!
- I really love the English department at my university and I’m quite excited to work with a few of them.
- Perhaps I’ll make some new friends?
I’m taking a Gothic literature course where I get to write my own Gothic story (and I’m leaning toward a f/f vampire romance/tragedy) as my final essay
- This actually changed in-between the time I wrote this piece, as I’m now actually taking a fiction writing class! Huzzah!
So, there are a lot of positives, which is great! And I don’t want to scoff at all of them, either, by listed the negatives down below. I recognize that I have a lot of privilege to be where I am at right now and I am very thankful for that privilege.
However, I do want to recognize that, while in some ways, I’m very excited for this return and the hopeful opportunities it will open up, I am still frustrated by it. For reasons like:
- The main reason I’m doing this is because, at a review with my boss, they mentioned I was doing really well at my job (yay!!) but that I would never be considered for a promotion to any higher role (like a senior advisor or any sort of director role) without a Master’s degree. Thanks to my experience working at my job and my years working at a university, it didn’t have to be in higher education, but I wouldn’t be eligible without a Master’s degree.
This upsets me on a lot of levels, because the Master’s degree I’m pursuing will literally not make me a better academic advisor in any way (while I do hope it’ll make me a better writer). However, the own work that I do and what I’ve proven so far shows I’m on the right path for promotion. So why do I need to jump through all of these hoops in order to even be considered for something I’ve proven I should already be considered for?
That’s the biggest thing that upsets me, honestly. The fact that the system is set up against logic and instead, creates more barriers and hurdles for individuals (but especially those from marginalized and underprivileged backgrounds) to conquer, in order to better themselves financially.
There are more minor things, too, like:
- Less time to work on other things. Trying to balance working full-time, alongside still managing and booking for my freelance editing business, on top of writing, editing and pitching my own novels, running this blog and trying to have as much of a life (aka gaming) as one can in the midst of a pandemic, is…a lot.
- I don’t miss academic research or writing at all and am not looking forward to that again. I’ve never been truly interested in that aspect of my degree. What I am interested in is the workshops I’ll do with other writers, challenging my craft with short stories and then writing a novel for my thesis.
- Despite my tuition being paid for, still spending almost $500 on campus fees and textbooks
Some…differences of opinion between my professor and myself that might continue to prove challenging.Ahem, yeah, switched classes, so don’t have to worry about this anymore!
- Trying to enter back into academia during a pandemic and the challenges of trying to get a university (who runs like a business, instead of a place of learning) to work with me to stay safe remotely
- The necessity of staying here for two-three more years, since that’s how long it’ll prolly take to complete my degree, with only being able to manage (and afford) one class per semester, including summer semesters). My partner and I do want to move out of Kansas at some point (preferably before we start a family), but completing this degree keeps us here.
- Impostor syndrome that I don’t deserve to be there, since I’m a non-traditional student, and that I don’t have the ability to handle it
So, it’s going to be interesting, to say the least. I’m about to start week two out of sixteen and I’m interested to see where it leads, especially since I’m going to be playing a bit of catch-up, since I switched classes after the first week. I’m trying to stick to more of the positives than the negatives, so we’ll see how it goes!