Jump to content

Reevaluating plans/goals/dreams


Recommended Posts

Lately I’ve been thinking about plans and goals I’ve previously set for myself. I have always talked about pursuing a doctoral degree. So much has changed since I made that goal for myself… it was part of what my life with my fiancé who passed away was supposed to be. i feel like a completely different person than who I was, and I’m not sure if that goal still holds. It’s about the time where I need to begin the application process, and… I just can’t get it together to start.

My parents are very pro higher education, as that was not something they had for themselves. I know they want better for my siblings and myself they they both had. I spoke to them about it and my mom told me I need to move forward and just buckle down and do the program. She got pretty upset that I was entertaining the thought of not continuing on in school. She said I’d be cutting myself short and I’d always be full of regret if I didn’t. On the other hand, my boyfriend told me it’s OK to change my mind about these things.  I could do the program now or later or not at all. He thinks a break might be what I need to figure things out. 

Am stupid for considering taking time off? Is it a mistake to keep going when my heart isn’t in it right now? Am I making a big decision off what a boyfriend of a couple months says, rather than people who’ve known me my whole life? I do feel burnt out from school. I’ve been taking college courses since age 16 (duel enrollment in high school). I am burnt out from work as well. Teaching during a pandemic is not easy.  Maybe a break is what I need. I just feel tons of pressure around me from all of these things and it’s so hard. I guess there’s really no question here. Just need a place to rant. Why does this kinda thing need to be so hard to figure out?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nobody walks in your shoes, so step away from all the voices pushing you in different directions and figure out what you actually want to do.

Sounds a bit like your goals were driven heavily by family pressure and expectations. However, now that you have your own life experience, you are questioning those goals. Very normal and something you do need to take time out to sort out. The worst thing you can do is waste years and money pursuing degrees on subjects you don't like.

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it depends on what you seek to gain from "time off" - IMO people who put off grad degrees/PhD programs most often don't end up pursuing or accomplishing one. I put off mine for 3 years because frankly I was scared of failing, intimidated.  I pursued a career I loved but wasn't right for me in practical ways.  On April Fools Day 1990 I was at a party with friends who were in grad school. So was my then boyfriend.  Then I knew I could do it.  Signed up for my prep course two days later, entered grad school in Fall 1991.  Delaying wasn't the worst decision since I was single/no dependents - I was 25 when I started.  And it was good in certain ways- maturity, etc. 

But I was 1000% motivated because I'd dreamed of doing this program since 9 years prior to applying.  And I am thrilled I did it.  Thrilled.  It's how I met my husband, became financially comfortable, contributed to the world (am still in the same field).  

It's so important not to just take time off and to identify whether this is because you're an adult now not just bending to your parents' whim/desires or whether you truly need time to figure out more about whether you want to pursue higher education.  Your boyfriend doesn't know you well enough IMO and might be biased -does he value higher ed or is he on the extreme of "well you know it's just a piece of paper/look at Bill Gates, etc."  Make this your own highly individual personal decision.  And good luck!!

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, MsAin1st said:

i feel like a completely different person than who I was, and I’m not sure if that goal still holds. It’s about the time where I need to begin the application process, and… I just can’t get it together to start.

Then maybe you're not ready yet.. to go there.  Never rush into things if you don't feel it. Do so, if/when you DO.

Your parents are not living your life.. you are.  So make decisions on how YOU feel .

Take some time for yourself for a while ❤️ . Is called self care and so many regret not doing so and do end up burned out. Mentally & emotionally exhausted 😕 .

Take your time.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you still living with your parents? If so I'd suggest you think about pursuing schooling or taking just a short break and getting back into it while you've got the financial support of your parents. This is if you know what you want to do. Don't procrastinate. If you don't know what you want to do, then think about it and come up with something reasonable for yourself. 

What does this phD accomplish for yourself? Find something more meaningful to you now that you can see yourself growing into the rest of your life as a calling.

At the same time if you're living with them it may be difficult to think objectively. 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As others have said you are the only one that has to live with your choices.

Before you go spend a boat lead of money on a degree, make sure it's something one, that you want for yourself and two have the capacity to complete. 

Also does your chosen field require such an expensive degree? More specifically, does what you will earn cover the expense?

I've seen people go into debt only to not finish or make no money when done.  This does not lead to a happy life.

You probably need a break. Until you can take on the work and pressure happily... as in doing it for your own reasons, you should wait. 

I'm sorry your parents will have a hard time and or are pressuring you.  that's not really fair of them.

it's hard to stand up to our parents but it does happen and when you do,  try to be mature, state your plan and be strong. reassure them of your love and your need for them to trust you to do what is best for you, even if it's not what they had planned for you.  

At some point you have to live for you... its your life. And on some level they know this

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

Your boyfriend doesn't know you well enough IMO and might be biased -does he value higher ed or is he on the extreme of "well you know it's just a piece of paper/look at Bill Gates, etc." 

Yes, he does value higher education, and would be supportive like he is being now of me while I’m working on my Masters. He’s actually taught classes at the university level. So I know he’d not think anything negative of me continuing on. 

1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

 

I think it depends on what you seek to gain from "time off" - IMO people who put off grad degrees/PhD programs most often don't end up pursuing or accomplishing one

 

And this is my big hesitancy with taking time off. I know if I stop I’ll lose the momentum I have.  And life would happen… and I’d not end up going back to get the degree.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Lambert said:

Also does your chosen field require such an expensive degree? More specifically, does what you will earn cover the expense?

No, I am a teacher so my career field doesn’t require this. It would just be something I want to do to move from being in the classroom. 

 

1 hour ago, Lambert said:

I'm sorry your parents will have a hard time and or are pressuring you.  that's not really fair of them.

I am a “pleaser” and always have been. Guess I need to learn how to drop that. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can tell you that, burnout or not, its very hard to come back to later. You get used to certain system that requires from you to dedicate time to certain activities like handing papers or just study sessions. So after a while you lost that habit. Sometimes so hard that you never can go back. I know a lot of them who just couldnt do it after they came back to their programs. I mean, maybe your educational system is different, ours here requires you to put on very hard work. But just keep in mind that your habits should stay in check. And that afterward it might be too late. Especially if you get caught up in other things from life. 

Otherwise, what you feel is perfectly fine. Burnouts happen. So, think about it, weigh in everything and see what is the best decision for you. outside of what your family or boyfriend would want. Family always wants higher stuff for you no matter if you want it or not. Boyfriend is maybe  motivated by his own desires, not yours. So, just weigh in yourself and do what is best for you.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Rose Mosse said:

 

Are you still living with your parents?

 

I am not! I found a super sweet deal on guest house/apartment from a family friend. 
 

1 hour ago, Rose Mosse said:

At the same time if you're living with them it may be difficult to think objectively

Even though I’m not living with them, I very much value their input into bigger decisions that I make. Maybe I’ve just always rolled with it. But this was something I had also planned out with my fiancé when he was alive. I guess I no longer see myself on the path we had set up for ourselves. He was very gung-ho into his career and advancing himself, so a PHD was part of his plan as well. We were supposed to get all of the schooling out of the way and then start a family. Since he’s not longer alive and thats not going to happen with him… I’m reevaluating if that’s what I want to do?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Kwothe28 said:

I can tell you that, burnout or not, its very hard to come back to later. You get used to certain system that requires from you to dedicate time to certain activities like handing papers or just study sessions. So after a while you lost that habit. Sometimes so hard that you never can go back. I know a lot of them who just couldnt do it after they came back to their programs. I mean, maybe your educational system is different, ours here requires you to put on very hard work. But just keep in mind that your habits should stay in check. And that afterward it might be too late. Especially if you get caught up in other things from life. 

Otherwise, what you feel is perfectly fine. Burnouts happen. So, think about it, weigh in everything and see what is the best decision for you. outside of what your family or boyfriend would want. Family always wants higher stuff for you no matter if you want it or not. Boyfriend is maybe  motivated by his own desires, not yours. So, just weigh in yourself and do what is best for you.

This is my biggest hesitation in not continuing on. I know that if I stop I won’t go back. But I don’t know if what I want for myself is what I wanted when I set that goal.
I am in the US, so I think we have the same educational system.  Yes, it’s hard work. I have materials to read, presentations to prepare for, etc and I have an internship soon too. I have combo online/in person classes which requires a small commute to campus 3x per month during the week and 1x per month on a Saturday. Doctorate program would be all of that plus a thesis at the end.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, MsAin1st said:

 I am a teacher so my career field doesn’t require this. It would just be something I want to do to move from being in the classroom. 

Can you afford it? PhDs are not cheap. It's time consuming and costly so unless you have endless time and money why are you considering this?

Why not focus on getting your own place and on other life goals. Travel, hobbies, clubs, groups, interests, etc.? There's more to life than academics and work.

Review your field background and see what else is out there, such as consulting, etc.

 

Edited by Wiseman2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Why not focus on getting your own place and on other life goals. Travel, hobbies, clubs groups interests, etc.? There's more to life than academics and work.

This is one of the reasons I like coming here. Voices of reason from people who don’t know me. 
As well balanced as I would like my life to seem, it probably isn’t. I work and go to school. I see boyfriend a few times a week and hang out with my friends on Monday night. Family dinner every single Sunday. 

Apartments around my area suck big time. There’s just nothing really available right now. I’m living in a unattached mother in law suite and am paying rent. So it sorta is my own place. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've met a lot of people who wished they pursued more education when they were younger looking back. I have never met a person who pursued higher education and then regretted it looking back. 

Regardless of what you decide, it is your choice so until you own that choice and make it yours, don't do it according to someone else's standards or requests. I think your parents are looking out for you in terms of future opportunities. 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, MsAin1st said:

Yes, he does value higher education, and would be supportive like he is being now of me while I’m working on my Masters. He’s actually taught classes at the university level. So I know he’d not think anything negative of me continuing on. 

And this is my big hesitancy with taking time off. I know if I stop I’ll lose the momentum I have.  And life would happen… and I’d not end up going back to get the degree.  

In my early 20s I was a classroom teacher.  I got engaged at 23 to Mr. Right on Paper.  My plan was to have babies, stay home, go to grad school at age 40 (meaning once kids were teenagers, etc).  I was so desperate to be a married mom that I ignored that he wasn't really into me going to grad school (he was very smart and educated and on a great career path -also in his 20s - but I think he feared me being more educated? more successful?). 

Luckily within days of being engaged -yes, we'd started wedding plans -I realized it wasn't right and ended it.  6 months later I started studying for grad school entrance exams.  I realize now at age 55 -I really doubt I'd have gone back later after being a mom, working as a teacher - even with teenagers it would have been so much more complicated (I lived with my parents during grad school). 

So if this is for you -and not just the people pleasing part - I personally would go sooner rather than later.  Do you have a trusted person in your field -the grad school field -to discuss this with -to help you think things through??

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, MsAin1st said:

No, I am a teacher so my career field doesn’t require this. It would just be something I want to do to move from being in the classroom. 

 

I am a “pleaser” and always have been. Guess I need to learn how to drop that. 

You really have to think if that's what you want to do. I was lucky I finished my degrees with very little student loan debt. It gave me a huge leg up on savings for another big expense. One that you can't borrow for- retirement. 

Too many people are buried with debt, they'll work till their dead. I know retirement is not on your radar... but it should be   the earlier you start saving even $25 a month compounds over time. 

A good life starts with good choices when you're young.  It doesn't just happen 

I think many of us are pleasers and it can stem from our parents /how we're raised.  

Edited by Lambert
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Rose Mosse said:

I've met a lot of people who wished they pursued more education when they were younger looking back. I have never met a person who pursued higher education and then regretted it looking back. 

Regardless of what you decide, it is your choice so until you own that choice and make it yours, don't do it according to someone else's standards or requests. I think your parents are looking out for you in terms of future opportunities. 

 

Absolutely. I know they do! Sometimes I feel like they’re a little too invested in me and my future but that’s another story for another day. 😛

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

Do you have a trusted person in your field -the grad school field -to discuss this with -to help you think things through??

Thanks for this! Made an appointment for an advising session. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Lambert said:

You really have to think if that's what you want to do. I was lucky I finished my degrees with very little student loan debt. It gave me a huge leg up on savings for another big expense. One that you can't borrow for- retirement. 

Too many people are buried with debt, they'll work till their dead. I know retirement is not on your radar... but it should you.  the earlier you start saving even $25 a month compounds over time. 

A good life starts with good choices when you're young.  It doesn't just happen 

I think many of us are pleasers and it can stem from our parents /how we're raised.  

Already have that retirement stuff set up! F was super good at that kind of thing and went over it all when I was hired.
 

3 minutes ago, Lambert said:
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rather than getting stuck on the degree question maybe ask yourself a different question - what do you want to do for a living long term. What do you see yourself doing 5 years from now, 10 years from now and does that degree play into that or not at all?

For some careers, a higher degree is pretty much necessary, for others not at all. Maybe that will help you figure it out better.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, DancingFool said:

Rather than getting stuck on the degree question maybe ask yourself a different question - what do you want to do for a living long term. What do you see yourself doing 5 years from now, 10 years from now and does that degree play into that or not at all?

For some careers, a higher degree is pretty much necessary, for others not at all. Maybe that will help you figure it out better.

I would be a mama to a bunch of babies. I’d stay home and raise them. … practical thought, huh?

if I have to work I’d see myself keeping on teaching. I genuinely enjoy my chosen career & my little monsters. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, MsAin1st said:

I would be a mama to a bunch of babies. I’d stay home and raise them. … practical thought, huh?

if I have to work I’d see myself keeping on teaching. I genuinely enjoy my chosen career & my little monsters. 

Assume that you will have to work and with that, let's say you do stay in the teaching profession. Do you see yourself teaching small children, middle school, high school or college level? Do you have a definite yes and an absolute no way in the age ranges you want to teach? How does a PhD tie into that?

Also, what about a plan B? Let's say that you get burned out by the politics side of teaching - curriculums, standardized tests, parent demands that are absurd, admin bs, etc. What could you pivot to then and would your degree give you better options or not really?

Consider also, teacher pay v. loan burden v. rising costs of living. Will that degree pay for itself or will it cripple you financially? Really do your research and do the math properly. 

Think about all of the above seriously.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, DancingFool said:

Assume that you will have to work and with that, let's say you do stay in the teaching profession. Do you see yourself teaching small children, middle school, high school or college level? Do you have a definite yes and an absolute no way in the age ranges you want to teach? How does a PhD tie into that?

Also, what about a plan B? Let's say that you get burned out by the politics side of teaching - curriculums, standardized tests, parent demands that are absurd, admin bs, etc. What could you pivot to then and would your degree give you better options or not really?

Consider also, teacher pay v. loan burden v. rising costs of living. Will that degree pay for itself or will it cripple you financially? Really do your research and do the math properly. 

Think about all of the above seriously.

You are so wise and thoughtful in your responses!  
TY!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, MsAin1st said:

I would be a mama to a bunch of babies. I’d stay home and raise them. … practical thought, huh?

if I have to work I’d see myself keeping on teaching. I genuinely enjoy my chosen career & my little monsters. 

Why not? It's what my older sister did for 20 years. It's what I did for 7- only one baby!  It's totally fine to desire not to work outside the home but to do the hugely tough job of raising a child full time.  If that is what you truly want for yourself go for it and maybe get a PhD later.  I was single when I did all of my education and single for most of my 15 year intense full time career. 

It was hugely important to me to have a nest egg before I took on the job of SAHM (at the age of 42 which is when we married and became parents) in case my husband needed me to contribute $ and so I had $ to call my own.  And I loved working, loved my field.  I work in it part time now. 

So consider what it would look like to you to be a full time mom to kids while your partner was the full time breadwinner - figure out what you would like financially for yourself -or decide you're fine depending on his income and assets since obviously you're contributing by being the full time parent.  You have time to think this through so use the time.  I did and I thank my lucky stars I did.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Top Discussions this Week

  • Our picks

    • How To Make A Woman Want You Sexually (Guide To Building Her Interest And Sexual Attraction)
      Learn how to make a woman want you sexually! In today's video we're talking about sexual attraction and how you make a woman want you! We're going to be discussing some useful tips you can put to work to get a woman interested in you and building that sexual desire. Often men think they know exactly what women want, men in sports cars with big houses a big wallet and a bad boy attitude. This might be what the ladies want in movies but not in real life it's very different. To know what a lady wants you need to understand what you need to do to make her want you sexually. Imagine if you knew the secret formula to do this, the one that tells you exactly what women want sexually. The formula would let you know exactly what you need to do to get a woman to fall into your arms, sounds too good to be true right? Well it's not! It's as easy as being mindful of your own behaviour and adopting steel-proof boundaries. Want to know some more? Well don't move an inch.

       
      • 0 replies
    • How to know when he's really fallen in LOVE
      You’re falling in love with your man deeper every day, but you don’t know if he feels the same way for you. It’s natural to want to know his feelings for you. What happens when he doesn’t say it or he’s not the type to say that? His actions tell you he loves you, but you could be wrong, right? So how do you know when he’s really in love with you? It’s not always so easy, but it’s not impossible either!

       
      • 0 replies
    • 6 Psychological Secrets of Attraction
      Knowing whether or not someone is “into you” can be incredibly difficult if they don’t explicitly say it. In this video, we will be looking at some psychological secrets of attraction.

       
      • 0 replies
    • This Healing Mindset That Helps Overcome Trauma Symptoms
      If you grew up with neglect and abuse, you've needed time to talk about what happened, and how parents and others treated you. But THEN what? Once you've acknowledged the past and gained an understanding of how you developed symptoms of trauma, how can you overcome those symptoms, and move forward with building a happy and fulfilled life? In this video I teach about the two general categories of comments I see on my channel, and what that suggestions about the commenter's readiness to heal.

       
      • 0 replies
    • "I Want A Girlfriend" Do THIS First
      I want a girlfriend. Have you ever found yourself thinking "I want a girlfriend" but you're not quite sure if you're actually ready for one? Before you go about doing anything else it's important to make sure that you actually need a girlfriend right now.

       
        • Like
      • 0 replies
×
×
  • Create New...