|Photo by J. Grandbois|
This is the question I have been asked with great frequency over the past several weeks. My answer is generally about the same. I am glad to be done. I feel less stressed and for the first time in five summers I don't feel pressured to cram as much as possible into the three and half months I had off between semesters. Yes, there is a lot of good feelings surrounding my completion of earning my degree.
But...(yeah, you saw that coming didn't you?)
There is some cliche out there about how anything worth doing requires sacrifice. In economics we call this opportunity cost. It is the value of the the thing we give up in order to do something else.
Being back in school took nearly all of my energy and focus. I realized very soon after making my return to school that there was no way I could keep up with everything that had been a part of my life. I knew I'd not be able to dance as much, keep up with my blog (though I did better with that that I thought I would), that my social life would be greatly cut back and that I'd likely have to turn down opportunities that I'd otherwise pursue so that I could have enough time and energy to focus on school.
Knowing I'd not be happy giving up performing all together, I chose to focus on my troupe instead of my solo dance work. I stopped updating my blog twice a week, which meant I gave up possible ad revenue, writing and review opportunities through the blog group I belonged to. I tried my best to keep up with my social life, but very soon found I simply did not have the time, and I felt myself drift out of the communities that five years ago were central to my life. I stopped working full time so I could finish school earlier and took on quite a bit of debt in order to do so.
I stepped out of my life for five and a half years and I've yet to find my stride again now that I've stepped back into it. I do ask myself often if it was worth the sacrifice, but that is a question I won't likely have the answer to for a number of years. I am glad I did it. I love to learn and I derived a huge amount of satisfaction form completing this goal. I experienced things, such as Semester at Sea, that I never would have done had I not returned to school.
I just a little bit adrift at the moment. I'll find my course soon.