the fear

So school is going to happen but first I need to figure out how to pay for it. I start thinking about the numbers and they are so beyond anything I can grasp. I got my financial papers in the mail from Columbia and the number they estimate I will need to live one year (tuition, housing, extras) ends up being twice what I made in the past year. Now some of that will be taken care of by money from the school but not much, some of it will come from my savings, from selling my belongings, but again, not much. Most of it will have to come from loans, both federal and personal. And obviously the loan market isn’t in great shape. And it’s not like I will leave school with my MFA and find myself with a job that will be able to pay back my loans quickly. More likely the interest and money will build up leaving me hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. I can’t even fathom it. It’s so far beyond me.

Yet, I want to go back to school. I want an MFA in dramaturgy. I want to spend the time furthering my artistic and academic desires. I want to spend the time gaining the knowledge and experience and contacts. I want to spend some time living in new york, seeing how that massiveness feels on a daily basis. But I keep wondering if I’ve made a mistake.

Friends, if you are in or have gone to graduate school: how have you managed it? I’m not wondering about the daily budgeting or even really the applying or managing of the loans. I’m really wondering about how you wrap your head around the massiveness of numbers and uncertainty of the future. How do you do it? please leave a comment or send me an email and let me know I’m not making a huge financial mistake.

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One Response to the fear

  1. Hannah,

    I haven’t really told this to anyone yet, but I’ve decided not to register at NYU next semester and apply to the PhD program at CUNY. I think I could handle the loans, but it would make me really miserable for a long time.

    I don’t remember how I arrived at this figure, but I somehow worked out that if I had a starting salary of $40,000 when I left school that I could handle the debt. Soo, that’s not so impossible, right?

    And, be an RA! I wish I had done that. Free housing, free food, knocks off like half of what you’re dealing with.

    Go for a semester at least! Maybe you’ll transfer to CUNY too 🙂

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