Monday, August 6, 2007

Feelin' Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

I'm facing a dilemma: law school or no school. Yep! I've pinpointed the procrastination. It isn't that I'm so wrapped up in my Summer fun that I don't want to study. Okay, well, maybe it is a bit. It is that I'm scared of making a mistake, a huge mistake.

On one hand, I'm dying to get into law school. Okay, rejection is also a very scary reality. As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm very limited in the schools I can financially attend and they are highly ranked. William & Mary, for example, has an acceptance rate of 24.1% and George Mason a frightening 20%! I KNOW I would make a great lawyer! I could possibly make a difference. If not in the lives of others, certainly in my family. I would be setting an example for Sydney and future baby. It would also provide job security. Setting those things aside, personally, it would mean the world to achieve the goal.

As you know, I graduated from college this past June. The first college grad in my family. It took me FOREVER, but when I crossed that stage, I couldn't stop the tears. I know, I'm a sap. I had never worked so hard for anything in my life! So, multiply that times ten for law school.

Then there is the other hand! IF, that is a big IF, I managed to get into a school, it is no joke. There will be lots of studying and stress. I worry about many things. First, I've decided that I will have to leave my job. There is no way I can do both and still have time with my family. The idea is that school will replace my job so that I can be home like I would be if working. So, obviously, there will be a significant pay reduction in the household. This is why I can only pray I get into an affordable school. I don't know about you, but I'm just not that excited about coming out of grad school with $97-106K in debt.

In addition to the financial stress and school stress, I'm sure Marc will be stressed. He's behind me 1000% and I cannot tell you how that feels. I love him sooo much! Our family is so important to me, which is why I don't want to risk harming it. He tells me I'm being silly and that we'll be fine, like always. I just don't want to be selfish. I want to be the best wife and mommy I can be. I don't want my kids to look back and say, "Mom was never there." I also don't want to miss out.

Am I being selfish?


Tiburon said...

Not selfish! You have a big decision to make and I don't envy you one bit. I know you will do what is best for you and your family - and no matter what you decide you will be great at it! :)

Jess said...

Nope, you are not being selfish. Our husbands and children should be two of our most important priorities, but we are also have a responsibility to ourselves, to be fullfilled and happy people. Only you can tell if law school right now is the right decision. I do know that if you feel hesitation that you should follow your gut instincts and really explore why.

Going to law school now could be such a good thing for your family. But, waiting is always a very valid option. My mother didn't start her PhD until she was in her mid-40s. Whatever you decide, just make peace with it and don't second guess the decision unless you are so miserable that it is clear that you made the wrong one. Living in the "what ifs" is worse than just choosing and being happy with the choice.

Lots of love,


Bonita said...

I wish you the very best, jess t, as you consider what is important to your family and to yourself. When my husband was working on his Masters, doing an internship and also holding down his job, it was a tough time for us, as we hardly ever saw him. But, we were supremely happy he met his goals when he did, and now our lives give us the things we most enjoy. I know you will always find time to care for your family, and I hope you push forward in that which is such a noble distinction - academic achievement. Best to do it when you are young and resilient. No debt is more worthy than student loans. Nobody will put you in prison because you have them! :)

Chris * Natalie * Maya * Mason said...

how exciting for you! these decisions are difficult to make, because it's so hard to strike a balance between family/work/school, like you said. but it CAN be done. good luck with your decision!

Jess T said...

Thanks, guys! You are all so supportive.

Jess, your mom truly amazes me! Your whole family is the best! Also, like you said, if I don't get in this year or choose to wait, there are always many more opportunities.

Kelly said...

thanks for your comments and visiting my blog. wow! you've got a tough decision. but it looks like you have some great insight, and lots of great comments here. it sounds like your a smart cookie, and a hard worker... i doubt you'll have any problems getting in. i guess the question is whether you want to go, but when. education is extremely important, but as it has already been said, it will always be there. if you feel the now is the right time, go for it. if your worried about missing time with your kids... maybe put it off a year or two. that first year of law school is a killer. it tends to get easier. but, do you want to be worried about school and a new baby. i had 2 semesters left in my masters program when i had my first. it was hard, but totally manageable. you just need to decide what is most important right now. if it's school, go for it. if it's not... don't worry it's not going anywhere.

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog, after finding it linked to "My Life with Hannah and Lily" and I guess my advice would be to WAIT. One thing RachD has taught me is NEVER think you're guaranteed tomorrow with your kids. With a young one at home and another on the way...they should be your priorities...When they're in school you will have much more time to study, but you'll NEVER get this time back. And from my own law school is about 400% more work than undergrad. Unlike another post, I don't think law school would be good for anyone right now...stress on you, sterss on your husband, and no mommy around...who wins there?
Just an anonymous bit of advice from someone who's been there.
Good luck with your decision making!