Monday, November 29, 2010

Grad School Blues

My first semester of Grad School is Hell on Earth.

I thought that since, I have no job and therefore an "open schedule", I'd have plenty of time to devote to my studies despite being a single mom. Nope, that didn't happen. Chores, errands, and trying keep my mom happy when I'm home trying to do my work pretty much killed a lot of drive. Combine that with money worries (especially since I'm sending my daughter to private pre-school, more on that later) and the fact I've definitely failed one class (and am struggling with the rest) has made my semester a disaster.

I struggled to get into this program at the last minute; I had no job and I needed both the financial aid money and health insurance to survive. Plus, I had to convince the program head that my undergrad gpa was not an indicator of my inability to do grad work. Trust me, I would NOT have chosen to be a full-time grad student if my financial situation were not that desparate! One, maybe two classes at the most are what I can handle, but being a part-time student would have meant no financial aid and an upfront bill in order to continue my health insurance. As I am Bi-Polar, it is absolutely critical that I have insurance to cover the cost of my (very expensive) meds and my doctor's visits.

So, I'm going to spend the next 2-3 weeks desparately trying to get my $hit together and crank out the required papers. I really just want to pass my anthro classes; they're more important and besides, I've already failed one public admin class. If I fail the second, it reflects on my lack of preparation and knowledge on public administration. That's my excuse, anyhow.

I'm terrified that I'm going to get kicked out of the program. I hope that, if all fails, I can at least spend a semester on academic probation and redeem myself in the spring (which always happens). Fall classes and schedules always fuck me up anyway. I will even renegotiate my program contract with the head, eliminating the public admin and/or retaking it, including more health science classes, and extend my program into the Fall 2011 semester. I HAVE to get this degree, I have no choice.

I would really very much have a job at this point; a predictable schedule and set of tasks, and not having a constantly overdrawn checking account. My dad keeps pushing me to get my MA as quickly as possible, and rightfully so. But I'm burned out. I am so burned out. With this economy, I'm afraid I will NEVER get a job and be stuck in school, going nowhere for the rest of my life. I am burned out and I am scared. I determined to become financially independent in order to provide for my daughter, but I'm stuck and dependent on a too small amount of child support and the financial good will of my dad. So pathetic. This is not the example I want to set for my daughter.

I want money. I want to pay off all of my bills and debts, move out of my parents' house, and still be able to afford to send my daughter to private school. Tall order, I know.

Why can't my mother do something productive instead of puttering around the house and her church activities all day?