Normally I'd have accepted it immediately. This time? I've let it sit there for several days already, while experiencing a shitload of anxiety around it. On the upside, I don't have to accept it till January. On the downside, the longer I take to decide the more stress I'll put on myself.
I have to do it, I know that.
Well, that's not entirely true. I have to do it if I want to continue down the path I started all those years ago, the one where I want to make the world a better place in my own special way, and still get passionate about it when the topic comes up in conversation. I don't *have* to do it at all. I could just forget about that goal, call it good, and be happy with my shelf full of books and my bit of paper and being the first in my family to get a degree.
But I feel like I have to do it. The problem is, to do it I have to sacrifice stuff. Well duh.
The question I can't answer is, will what I achieve be worth the sacrifice?
My experience so far of changing the world is that it's like banging your head on a wall made out of broken glass, while the majority of people throw rotten shit at you and tell you you're stupid for trying and you're wrong anyway. And nothing actually changes. Instead, your fellow countryfolk vote in governments that stand for everything you abhor, and call you a loony for wanting something different.
This is not conducive to me wanting to sacrifice any more than I already have for the sake of others' wellbeing.
Meanwhile, in the world of my own wellbeing, I'm told that it's a good thing to have three hobbies: one that keeps you fit, one that keeps your mind active, and one that makes you money.
I would not call my work a hobby. It finances my lifestyle, that's it. The academic stuff *might* lead to being a paid hobby, but not until I've spent another (approximately) $30,000 in fees and about 7 years having it *not* be a paid hobby, but instead being something I have to sacrifice my other hobbies for - the ones that stimulate my mind and body.
University eats your brain and your free time. As someone who works full time, I value my free time very highly. Consequently, what I feel I will have to give up for this is of extremely high value in my life - my main interests, my free time, and a bunch of money.
And somewhere along the road to my degree, I lost my faith that I can actually change anything.
So I'm struggling to justify it to myself as anything other than "I said I'd do it and I do what I say I'll do so now I have to do it."
Which isn't exactly the most compelling reason I could have. Don't get me wrong, I've achieved a lot in my life based on feeling like I have to, but there's a drudgery in doing your duty that I've been relatively free from for the last couple of years, that brings on a sinking feeling in my stomach when I think about it.
Dr Wheel, who is awesomeness personified, has come up with several solutions which would allow me to study full time, but of course each of them come with their inherent sacrifice, and of course going ahead with that would require him to be dragged into the sacrificing as well. And even if he's doing it willingly, I would still be painfully aware of what other people are sacrificing so that I can chase a dream that I have no idea whether it'll come to fruition.
Only one of the people I know who have a PhD is actually doing the thing they got their PhD in. That's not high odds that after the next 7+ years of sacrifice and not-having-money (and the opportunity cost that goes with that), I'll actually be any better off.
And then there's the bit where the thought of writing any more academic essays makes me go "OHGODNO!" I realise this is partly because my last year of university was a mess of juggling topics so that I could get the major I needed to do postgrad, and thus I ended up doing topics that I had zero interest in, that made my brain melt.
It may not be like that in Honours, I realise. But it's my basis of experience and it's offputting.
Aren't I just a little ray of sunshine? There's a reason for that, but that's another post. I'm sure if I drag myself out of this mental hole I'll feel more positively towards study.
I have till January. Wish me luck.