Regrets in Life
Regrets. Everyone has them. From that time you pushed your little brother and made him cry to the guy you dated way too long to that lemon of a car you bought. I have so many regrets in my life that they’d probably fill an entire room.
My big regret right now is going back to school. Wait, you say, going back to school is a good thing! Education! Better jobs! It all sounds good in theory, but no so much on the practical side.
I decided to return to school during a manic high. People with bipolar are notorious for making bad decisions while manic. We feel on top of the world, like we can do anything, and we don’t think things through. I made the decision, applied for financial aid, and enrolled in school all in a few days without stopping to think of the repercussions of this.
After coming down from the manic high and talking with my husband, we decided I should stay in school. Getting a degree finally would be a good thing, and we’d figure out the money later. So in January 2014, I started classes online at Southern New Hampshire University (the one from the commercials). I’m on track to graduate in May 2015. Only now I regret it all.
My degree will be a BA in English/Creative Writing. This is one of those laughable, worthless degrees that will get you nowhere in life. On top of that, because of my bipolar and anxiety, I don’t see myself ever actually getting a job, definitely not one that would use my degree. I could never handle the stress of the kind of job you get from college degrees. I would crack after a month. So, once I graduate, nothing changes. I’ll still be a stay-at-home mom with no career, but with about $20k of debt.
Now money has become my biggest issue. When I enrolled and started, my husband had been off work for a couple of months with a shoulder injury. We had short term disability through his work and thought he would be back by the spring. Things didn’t work that way. Worker’s Comp kept screwing with him. A year after he first hurt himself they finally agreed to do surgery on his shoulder. Now he has months of physical therapy to go through before he can return to work. If he ever can.
Our income is so low that we had to go on government assistance. I don’t qualify for disability. We struggle to make ends meet every month. The idea that we will have $20k in debt to pay off makes me ill. And for what? A worthless degree? So I can say I graduated from college?
It’s going to destroy us. We son’t be able to make the monthly payments. We’ll have to negotiate to drag out payments beyond the ten year payment window. We’ll be paying off my worthless education for twenty plus years. We will never be able to save for a house or a new car (we only have the one and it’s 13 years old) or afford the things we need. I have ruined us.
I regret it. I regret not canceling my enrollment as soon as I came down from my high. I regret not really thinking things through even once I was down. I regret letting other people talk me into staying in school. I regret the fact that my degree won’t help me get a job even if I thought I could work.
And now I’m stuck. If I quit now, I’ll save us a few thousand dollars from the last four months I have before I graduate. But then the other $15k of debt will have been for nothing. I hate school. One of my classes this term makes no sense and it’s destroying my 4.0 GPA. And I’m really not sure I’ve learned anything. The classes (other than the one this term) have been incredibly easy. I even got a 100% in one of them. The teachers are way too nice and don’t offer any real kind of criticism on my creative writing. I get perfect marks even on assignments I half-ass.
I’m still not sure if I’m going to muddle through this class, wrecking my GPA, and eventually finish, or just quit while I’m ahead. Either way, once it’s over I’m going to regret this decision for the rest of my life.