Frugal Beautiful

Posts Tagged ‘Goals

I asked the question, perhaps too late, “What can I do with a graduate degree in sociology,”  and the timing was such that I really had to ask, “What can I do with half a graduate degree in sociology.”  Truth be told- nothing.

I spoke to two of my professors last week, and neither really knew what to tell me.  For the reasons I had to stay, I had equally compelling reasons to quit- namely my cost-to-benefit comparison based on passion vs. affordability.  If you are passionate, it’s hard to argue something is “too expensive,” in most situations- but what if you are confused like me?

My professors asked some hard questions:  Did I have something else in mind?  I did not.  Sure- I love to write- but am I confident enough in my skills as they stand to walk away from a possible degree?  I am not sure that starting over at this point and trying to stay afloat based on my entreprenurial skills alone would be wise.  I love to blog and explore different markets and niches- but I feel my inexperience would kill my passion if I were to step out at this point. Having a graduate degree could be beneficial for someone like myself who is at this point in the process.  For those who still have time to choose- take that time and ask lots of really hard questions before you commit.  But of course, sometimes all we can do is to assess the “known unknowns,” and take a step forward.

I also voiced my concerns about the cost of grad school.  They sympathized that costs are high and post-graduation prospects for employment are low- and at least are not up to expectations for newly minted degree holders.  What they did say though, is you can do nothing with half a master’s degree, not even get some kudos for “some graduate level courses” on a resume.  The sad truth is- there is no way to to know if the amount of debt I’m taking on is going to impede my chances to succeed in other areas, nor is a graduate degree an automatic key to success.

The debt itself will not prevent me from affording a wedding, car or hell, a piece of Tiffany, just as the degree itself will not ensure my immediate success- but my efforts outside the classroom will.  The only thing preventing me from being able to afford the life of my dreams is simply my inability to make them happen- and I can work on that.  My time in the classroom (or out of it) will not find me a man to love  or a dream job, nor will my debt stand in the way of buying a house or starting a family or starting my own company if that’s what I choose to do.  What will stand in the way of those things is my fear:  Fear that debt will ruin my future, fear that I’m not on the right path, fear that I’m not making the right choices.  Fear needs to be taken into consideration- it can be a very smart survival tool, but being too cautious blocks progress.

There is no way to gauge your prospects based on having debt or having a degree alone–  you just have to ask questions, evaluate, and take a risk.   The  the best decisions you can and forgive yourself for mistakes of inexperience.  Get your hands dirty- at least you can say it was YOUR mess and have something interesting to say at the high school reunion.

I meticulously planned my path to grad school and based my decision on the person I was at the time.  I had no way of anticipating the process itself would change me in the way it did.  While the reasons I had in coming to graduate school are no longer the reasons I am staying- I am still confident in those decisions.  I am not the person I was a year and a half ago, and I no longer harbor the same motives or goals I did before, and perhaps, that was the point?

 

 

 

It can be so easy to be discouraged when life throws us some obstacles- it’s easy to react with anger, to shut down, to completely let emotion take hold of us. We can’t control what happens to us in life, but we can control how we react to it. Innovation can sometimes come with trying to work through frustration and happiness can come from taking the reigns of a disheartening situation.

John Bramblitt is a man who went blind in his late 20’s due to Epilepsy. Of course, at first he was angry and shut down- not wanting to leave the house- a normal reaction. But after a time, he started to discover that there were things he loved, which he could still do as a person with blindness, but it would take some adaption and some time to learn new ways to read and “see.” Truly, it’s inspiring to see his innovation through difficult circumstances and his persistence to adapt to a new way of doing things.

While it could be argued that he’s just “painting by the lines,” the patience, training and persistence it would take to even accomplish something like this, in a medium not truly adapted for the blind is extraordinary.  People who downplay his ability to paint seem to overlook the core of why this is inspiring- he was able to innovate and create despite a condition that would normally completely discourage the average person. Without sight, I couldn’t even pick a design to paint, much less find the supplies I needed or mix colors for a canvas!

He must think and approach every activity completely differently in order to accomplish what he wants.  It’s difficult and new, but he is able to make his desires happen and do what he loves by using a different approach.

I think the videos speak for themselves:


Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture” is a hugely popular video on YouTube.

If you haven’t seen it, watch it.

If you have seen it, watch it again.

At the Time Randy gave his lecture at Carnegie Mellon, he had been diagnosed with cancer with only a few months left to live.  The humor and wit he uses when talking about his childhood dreams, and his attempts to fulfill them will give you a much needed boost to start your week.

My favorite quotes from Randy:

“Look, I’m going to find a way to be happy, and I’d really love to be happy with you, but if I can’t be happy with you, then I’ll find a way to be happy without you.”

“When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody’s bothering to tell you anymore, that’s a bad place to be. You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better,”

“Too many people go through life complaining about their problems. I’ve always believed that if you took one tenth the enrgy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you’d be surprised by how well things can work out.”

“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.”

“When it comes to men that are romantically interested in you, it’s really simple. Just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do. It’s that simple. It’s that easy.”

“It’s not about how to achieve your dreams, it’s about how to lead your life, … If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you.”


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