"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Prologue to the Next Chapter

My poor blog is basically crying for attention these days! Poor neglected thing! This princess has been a bit busy working and earning money...and wasting far too much time on stuff like watching Community and Battlestar Galactica and other such shows with her husband, but starting today I have an unexpected week off of work, so I guess it's high time I start getting back on track!

Lots of fun stuff has happened over the past few months (a Christmas vacation at home, some fun dates and crafts and projects, performing Pioneer Legacy, starting rehearsals for Cinderella, performing with Trevor at the ward activity, Trevor graduating from BYU, super fun game nights with friends, speaking and teaching in church, redoing our budget, starting to reorganize our house and stuff, etc.), but the biggest - and definitely the most impactful - thing that has been going on is making our decision of what to do about graduate school.

Trevor had a pretty rough last semester as an undergrad, and that is definitely putting it lightly. Remember this post? We were watching the music video of our theme song and I asked him if it was anything like how he felt. The moment after I asked (about 1 minute into it) it showed some bikers in a race who wipe out right before the finish line and painfully skid across the line in last place. Trevor pointed at the screen and gave an emphatic "yes! just like THAT!" It wasn't quite the empowering gusto that I was going for when I asked, but lets be honest. It was a hard semester!

 And the good news is...we survived!!!!! And now Trevor has much more time for his loving wife, who is absolutely adoring having a husband again!! So, now that he passed everything and finished his capstone, successfully graduated, graduate school applications have been sent in, and all that hard stressful stuff has been satisfactorily completed, everything is hunky-dory and easy, right?

Relatively, yes. SOOOO much better than last semester! But this whole waiting-for-acceptance-letters-and-deciding-which-school-to-go-to thing is hard too!

The hope was that Trevor would get accepted to his #1 school, Penn State, with a scholarship. It's the top school in the country for the program he is applying for, and he's really excited about the school, plus we would be close enough to my family to visit them on road trips. Wins all around! Unfortunately, I guess it wasn't meant to be.

We're still waiting to hear back from 2 or 3 more graduate schools, but we're getting down to decision time. We got a few acceptance letters and a few rejections too, and Trevor has been finding out as much information as possible about the programs and opportunities available at each option, and talking to advisers and faculty at the different programs, and professionals in the field, and basically everyone he possibly can get advice and information from. Taking everything into consideration so far, we've got things narrowed down to basically 2 options.

1 - go to Georgia Tech University
2 - go to BYU

1 - get out of here and start fresh somewhere new like we are super excited to do, and be just a short road trip from my family for the first time in 7 years!
2 - stay put with all the old stuff (my job, ballet, friends, everything) and be super far away from my family, but way close to Trevor's family and my extended family

1 - get a degree from a program so well-known and with such a high reputation, that basically just mentioning it on a resume will land him a good job
2 - have an undergrad and graduate degree from the same school (not to mention from a religious and possibly controversial school), but be able to get a degree in a program more tailored to his particular interests

1 - live in balmy Georgia and be close to Disney Land and the beach!
2 - live in Utah with yuck Winters, but thankfully no humid Summers

1 - have to take out $75,000-$100,000 in student loans, despite both of us having graduated from college with 0 debt. Graduate school can be so expensive!!
2 - have his tuition completely covered, and be given a $20,000 living stipend

1 - get started this Fall, know what we're getting in to, graduate in a couple years, get employed, pay off student loans, and get on with life
2 - give up all the acceptance letters and wait another year to apply to BYU's program (Trevor wasn't planning on graduate school at BYU until recently so he didn't take the Physics GRE because it wasn't required for any of the other programs). In the meantime, continue doing research with the department, hopefully start working at least part-time, and continue taking graduate level classes so he can graduate sooner if/when he is accepted.

The more we find out, the more we start leaning towards staying here. It'll be a bit of a gamble though, since we don't know for sure he'll be accepted into BYU's program next year. We're pretty sure though. And we're a bit bummed that we won't be getting real life going just yet if we stay. There will be a lot of waiting, and it will be longer until graduation.

Having a fresh start and just getting things going is sooo enticing! But starting 2-3 years later with no student loans and $20,000 in-hand (assuming he gets accepted) is pretty enticing too!! And we still haven't heard from 2 of the schools he applied to, one of which was near the top of his list. So who knows? Maybe he'll get accepted and get a great scholarship and living stipend, and we'll be doing something totally different from these two options we've been pursuing! Gah!!!! I hate waiting and not knowing!!

I guess the real bottom line is that things are about to change, and there are definitely a lot of pros and cons with each options. And I think we will end up happy with whatever we chose, we just have to decide which path we want to chose to be happy along :) We've been praying for help making the best choice possible, and we have definitely been getting a lot of good information from good sources to help us make educated decisions. Thank you to all of you who have been praying for us too! We really appreciate it (and we wouldn't mind if you keep praying for us :)! we're getting really close to moving on to the next chapter of our story :)

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