Surviving grad school

My husband deserves to be thanked for letting me to back to grad school. I’ve always wanted to get my master’s degree. I love being in the classroom and I value education above many other things. When we graduated from DePaul at the same time in 2009, it was obvious that Eric’s days of being a student were over. But my passion still lingered.

Grad school got pushed to the back burner when I got a real job offer shortly after graduation. Why keep going to school if I got a job? Isn’t that the goal: to get a job? Well, yes. So I spent four years working really hard at a job I love. But there was still this hole in my resume. It became obvious that I’d never achieve my career aspirations without a master’s.

So I talked to Eric about going back to school this year. We talked about where I’d like to go, how long it would take, what kinds of stress it would put on our relationship. And even though we’d had this conversation a few times, Eric kept telling me that the choice was mine to make. If I wanted to go back to school, I could make that choice. So I did.

I returned to DePaul in the fall of 2013 and I haven’t looked back. We took out federal loans to finance it. I designated money out of my paycheck to buy Metra tickets so I could get downtown twice a week. I paid for books out of pocket.

The biggest cost going to grad school has cost me is time. Instead of going home after work to cook dinner and relax on the couch with my husband, I traveled to the city for class every other night. Most nights I don’t get home until after 11:30pm. It’s exhausting. But Eric has always been there for me with a smile when I walk in the door.

I’m thankful for his love and understanding. He didn’t want me to regret never going back to graduate school. And thanks to him, I won’t.

I look forward to closing this chapter of our life and opening the next one: starting s family. It’s something I’ve always been afraid of but now, I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

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