Monday, January 26, 2015

First quarter done, making tough decisions

I've been sick the last several days.  It came on like a ton of bricks on Wednesday night.  I don't know what happened, but I found myself as sick as a dog and ended up staying home from work on Thursday and Friday. My first quarter of graduate school ended this past week, but I pretty much killed myself trying to finish writing two research papers while being sick.  I have a week and then I will be starting the new quarter of classes.

I find myself having to make a very difficult decision about my internship for the grad program.  If I choose to do my internship in my district, I will either have to go from working 40 hours a week to 16 and lose my benefits at the same time or take a leave of absence from work. If I go outside the district, I'm facing similar circumstances.  Either way, it is going to be a huge financial sacrifice for me.  Not only that, I will lose my medical benefits during the time when I am working part-time or on the leave of absence.  I was talking to a few people at work today about this and we started looking at whether taking a leave of absence is the best choice for me given that if I work 16 hours a week, I will lose so much and it will take longer to finish my internship hours. With the leave of absence I can get it done over the course of the semester. If I choose to work part time, it would take one semester and an additional quarter.  Now, if I can go on Cobra for the four months, I can keep my medical benefits but it does require that I pay roughly $500 per month for the privilege.  So, crunching numbers based on not working and taking a leave of absence, it will cost me approximately $10,000 for a semester factoring in all of my expenses and the additional Cobra costs to pay for my medical benefits.  If I work those 16 hours a week, it will actually be more expensive because I'd still lose my benefits, I'd be living on a reduced paycheck and then paying an additional $2,000 to extend my school year.  Crunching preliminary numbers, it looks like $10,000 is what I'm dealing with.  That causes me to feel stressed. I do have the money in the form of student loans, but it's still not an easy decision at all.

I find myself still dealing with being in a stall weight-wise. I'm exercising a lot.  For those that are curious, I still haven't gotten on the weight machines.  But I did see a sign at the gym that I am entitled to four personal training sessions for free as part of my membership dues. So, I am really thinking about pursuing that so that I can get a personal trainer and have him show me how to use the machines and what specifically I should focus on when exercising.


Beth Ann said...

Good luck with your decision. That is big, but it is good that you are walking through it from several angles.

And definitely take advantage of the free personal training. That is absolutely what it is there for!!

happyinca said...

Best of luck with your decision, Kathy. I've been through the cost/benefit of taking time off around grad school. I did it and never looked back. You probably won't think about the extra money spent after you get the hood and have the degree in hand. It also may mean that you are able to get a higher paying job more quickly, so over time it will pay off.

I thought of you when I was at the gym this week. I've done machines before, but I'm at a new gym, and was experiencing anxiety about getting started. I told myself to go to one machine, read the directions and do some reps, just to get over the hump. It wasn't crowded so I actually did both arms and legs, and I felt like a million bucks! Conquer your fears, my friend! Tawanda!!!

Now is Finally the Time said...

Thanks for the encouragement ladies. I know making these decisions, whether grad school or about the exercise, are sometimes tough but I'm trying to walk through them one step at a time.

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