Monday, September 23, 2013

Planning Before Living

As my teaching placement in January came to a finish, it began to feel extremely real that I was leaving college. It was a nervous and exciting time, but it raised a question: what do I do now? I knew there was one thing I definitely wanted to do: I wanted to get a Masters degree.

Two problems then arose:
- What do I want to study in? (And where?)
- How can I afford it?

The second problem was much more easy to address: I can't. Working weekends only, it is literally impossible for me to save up the average full sum required to sit a Masters course in Ireland. For the whole summer, that's all I was able to manage in work - not because I wasn't willing to work, but because the hours weren't there.

Now, I'm in a position to receive a few more hours per week. My boss is currently out of commission, and so we can't mention anything further to him, but my colleagues and I have been talking, and it makes sense to us that I work four days per week - not just a few hours on a Saturday, and a full-day on Sunday. Even if I managed to work just four days in the week, I've worked it out that I can still save up for a course to begin in September 2014.

That's without giving up on comic books, the cinema, magazines or other various expenses that pop up, too, which effectively means that I'm in a position, all things going according to plan (and a plan that makes sense to six people, myself included), to begin a Masters this time next year.

But that still leaves the other problem: what course would I actually do?

Part of me is considering Chaplaincy. Another part of me is considering Creative Writing. There's even a part of me that would love to go on to study Counselling. Each have their own pros and cons to consider, and I'm sure when I seriously start looking into courses things will only get more complicated. Now that I actually feel like I'm in a position to actually afford it, I can actually consider things beyond just what I'd like to do in some hypothetical universe.

Here was me thinking that I was done with college. Ha!

Life requires a lot of planning like this, though, I've come to realise. I know that while taking an extra year of study, I may have to face reduced working hours. It's also a massive chunk of money I can't put aside for saving, or use to travel (like I've wanted to for years, now!). I'm still planning to go away next year for a few days, but I do have to seriously consider the costs of everything before I go ahead with it. That's not just about the travelling; I mean everything that isn't already on my list of expenses.

As well as planning my expenses and income, I've also been looking at a few different things, from video schedules to writing plans, and considering the best course of action to take on a number of different projects. From one that currently looks like an interactive fantasy story, to a web series on YouTube, to a content-filled blog, I've got a lot of work ahead of me for so many different projects. I don't think I'll run out of work to do over the next few months, at least!

It seems like a lot to plan, but it also seems strangely necessary. Not because I might go against my plans, but because I'm not sure I could keep myself focused on one specific exciting thing for long enough to get truly involved in it. I know that once I get it into my system to write a particular thing, or record videos every x days, like I did with my daily-blogging and daily poetry exercises, it'll just be part of my life.

And isn't that the point? To read, to write, to create, to earn, to study. Isn't that the point of all this planning, that it just becomes life?

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