It might seem weird that we are signing a new lease and staying in LA when we are so homesick. Believe me, it’s kind of killing us to think of it haha. When we moved out here, our goals were kind of hazy BUT the one thing we wanted to do for SURE was finish school. I now don’t remember why we didn’t apply to school for last fall. I think we missed the deadline what with footootsying around with interning and looking for work, etc. And the schools don’t really accept people for Spring Admission out here, at least not for what we want to study. Oh that’s right. To apply for the Fall semester, you need to apply by the fall prior. We would’ve had to apply like the second we got here in 2009 in order to go to school in 2010. Also, we weren’t sure whether or not we wanted to finish our Associate’s out here with a focus on film or just get the degrees already. Lord knows we had the credits. Anyway, we applied for school last fall and just got in. Because I’ve been unemployed for so long, I actually got a LOT of money in grants and loans. It covers everything. I’ve never ever gotten grants before in my life because I’ve always had a job. Kristyn was also initially awarded a decent amount in grants and loans too. We’re not sure what her sum total is going to be though because they flagged her to look at her records more closely. Apparently this is more of a random thing than a personal thing. I think she’ll be fine because she basically has been supporting me all year and they go by your finances for the year prior.
Anyway, this is something we have to do. We DESPERATELY want to come home. We are both a little tired of LA. But it’s kind of a good thing we’re staying too. We really haven’t gotten the chance to enjoy this place because I’ve been unemployed. So now, maybe with school and work, we’ll be able to be more involved with this place.
Look, I’m going to be 32 in September. I am not a person who believes it is ever too late to educate yourself and to get a degree. BUT being realistic, if I’m going to have kids (and I am), it’ll be a helluva lot harder to get my degree once I have them. I want to be able to get this degree done, get some experience under my belt and then eventually move home so we can put down roots and have some kids surrounded by our family. I hate that there’s a clock ticking but the fact of the matter is that there IS.
We want to come home but if we did, we would have nothing more than what we had when we started. We’d have to put off getting a degree for another year or more while we get on our feet AGAIN. It would be such a waste of time and momentum I think. We got ourselves here and we suffered for two years straight waiting for the opportunity to go to school. To pack up and go home NOW at the precipice of what we wanted in the first place, leaving grant money on the table…that would be ludicrous. And I talked to HR recently about getting my degree and she was supportive of me working and getting a degree. I talked to her a little about how I feel like not having my degree holds me back. She didn’t 100% agree because this company doesn’t necessarily demand you have one to work here. Like my old boss here said, “People get degrees to get a job. If you can get the job without the degree, why get the degree?” And that’s true. BUT, this company is stable but so many aren’t. What if this company or any company I work for becomes unstable in the future and I lose my job and I don’t have a degree? I saw it happen in front of my eyes at the hospital my parents worked for for 30 years. It closed down after being open for the better part of the century leaving almost everyone in town without a job. And for those without a degree, like my father, it made it super difficult to find a job with the same benefits and salary. And these past two years have found me going up against 20 year olds fresh out of college for jobs. 20 year olds who have no work experience and don’t know what a 401K is, don’t care about health benefits or pension, don’t care about sick time or overtime or vacation pay. Don’t care about working 15 hours a day. I don’t mind this either but an employer sees me and sees trouble. She’s older, she knows her rights, she’s gonna want things. Also, I don’t have a degree, so it’s an easy way to weed me out because I “didn’t put in the time”.
SO, I feel like I need a degree. If I’m going to be going up against 20 year olds for jobs, I need a degree on my side at the very least. It’s hard enough to find a job in this economy without cutting your own throat by not having that slip of paper. A lot of articles are being writting lately on how much of a waste of time and money school is. That might be true. But those people are also being PAID to write about what a waste of time and money school is. They likely have their degrees and just aren’t thrilled with the opportunities that have been afforded to them after so much hard work. BUT I am here to say that the opportunities are even scarcer if you don’t have one.
So yes it will be difficult to stay here and keep putting one foot in front of the other but put one foot in front of the other we will do.