Monday, November 17, 2008

The Best (Interview) Day of My Life: Part 2

In my last post, I regaled you with my giant dilemma. A dilemma, I admit, that doesn't seem so bad from an outsider's point of view. I had just found out that I had gotten into Northwestern's journalism graduate program after being on the wait list for three months.

In addition, I had just flown from New York to Chicago and had a wonderful interview with a great mid-sized company (not to mention, I met Hanson). And after I had boarded the plane to go back to NYC, they had called to ask for references. 

I was blown away. Things like this don't happen to me. Often times I will get lucky and some things will just fall into place, but never multiple things at once. I get a job, but have no apartment. I get into college, but not my dream college. You know the drill. 

So I had to sit down and make a choice. And it was a really, really hard one to make. Especially when HR called and offered me the job with a pay increase and benefits that didn't make you want to cringe (like mine at my current job), but instead made me weep with joy.

I sat down that weekend after Halloween and thought long and hard about what I wanted, what I needed, and what I could afford. 

Graduate school was what I wanted. I have wanted to be a writer ever since I was a little girl. I used to write short stories about eleven sisters and their parents - the Que family (which I was convinced would make me the next Ann M. Martin). My more grown-up dream was to write for a glossy magazine and Northwestern's pricey $80,000 dollar education could help me achieve that dream.

The flip side of the dream, is the harsh reality. My father always made it clear that if I were to go to grad school that I would do it on my own and with my own money. Money, which I unfortunately do not have. Money which would need to come from loans since I don't have time to apply for scholarships or grants since I would start school in a mere two months. Unfortunately, the problems don't stop at the money. Once I graduate, the hope is to leave with a degree that will make me more money in a higher position. This is of course not guaranteed. And I could potentially wind up broke, in debt, and without a job come January 2010. Not to mention that print journalism isn't faring too well in this economy. 

The job offer on the other hand offers me the opportunity to save money (and with my raise and living in a cheaper city - I might actually be able to save for once!), the opportunity to grow and be successful in a career path that I hadn't considered at first but now have grown to enjoy, and I still have the opportunity to live near my family and Chicago friends. Not to mention I will have kick-ass benefits and get to travel! And more importantly, get paid to do so. 

I think you see where I am going with this. When I got the call last week that I had officially received the job, I told them I would think about it. But ultimately, I have decided that this job got me just as excited as the idea of grad school did. So I called them and accepted the offer and I start my new job as Project Coordinator on December 3rd. 

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am. I've started looking at one-bedroom apartments in the Wrigleyville and Lakeview areas. My friends in Chicago and I are planning wine exchange parties and Christmas parties and yoga classes on Saturday morning. My dad and I are planning dinners together and movies on Sundays. I'm excited to be back in my hometown. 

And don't worry, I don't plan on giving up on my dream of writing for a living. Those stories about the Que's were where I started my writing career and I think it's about time I got back to my roots and start writing fiction again. My first order of business (after filling my craving for a Corner Bakery sandwich) when I move back to Chicago is to enroll myself in a creative writing course. I would love to keep writing, but on my own terms. 

So as of last week, I gave my two week's notice at my current job and am going to be sending a letter of deferment to Northwestern (because a grad degree may be in my future - just not the immediate future). 

I am on my way to living my dream and I couldn't be happier. 

45 comments:

vampyvarnish said...

Good for you! I am really glad that you will be taking a creative writing class. I too always wanted to be a writer and even went as far as to get my English degree, yet somehow I wound up in Biotechnology not writing at all! Things happen I guess, but now I have a blog myself so I am using my writing skills at last! :-) Love the blog by the way I've been lurking for awhile.

jayme said...

Good for you!!!!!!!!!!!! You are very lucky considering the way the economy is right now.

LJ said...

Wow Congrats that is super exciting! Welcome back to Chicago!!!!!

Suz said...

CONGRATS! I know that was a hard decision, but it sounds like you made a smart choice! Also, now that you are done with all your good luck can you pass some my way?

The Invisible Student said...

Congrats WG2! Wouldn't you know that I'm an aspiring writer myself. My goal is to teach until I write a Nobel Prize worthy piece of fiction. I began my research into grad programs last week, nothin as prestigious as Northwestern on my agenda though. You should be proud.
Congrats again!

howitstarts said...

This is awesome! Congrats!

Miss Merry said...

Yay! Congrats! That is so exciting.

I just signed a lease for an apartment in Chicago (lakeview) and will be moving up at the end of December. I'm super scared cause I don't have a job yet, but I had to make something happen, thus the lease.

Anyway, I hope your apartment search is successful and that you love your new job!

missBee said...

Good choice! You never know the doors a job may open for you!

Miss Mak said...

I think you made a great decision, no one ever said you had to go to graduate school to be a writer. Enjoy chi-town and the extra cash from the new job!!!

lisa said...

I'm glad things worked out so well for you! Congratulations.

that girl said...

congrats! i think that was a very wise decision.

Mr. Consistently Inconsistent said...

I think its pretty cool to have the options available.
So kudus to you. And, once you are working, and can save, then you can always just you know...go to school.

Ive worked for a year, saved more than I ever would have thought possible, and am happy.

Good deal!!!:)

KP said...

Ah! Congrats!
Now you can celebrate by shopping for a winter work wardrobe (ok, so an outfit or two) and post what you find here. Dec. 3...they move quickly! What a way to end 2008 and bring in the New Year (and a New You)

jaime. said...

Congratulations woman, I'm glad that you made your decision and are happy with it. You're right--grad school isn't going anywhere, but goof just most certainly are!

Jen said...

Congratulations and welcome back to the midwest! :)

ceemee said...

Congratulations! I think you made a very wise decision. You could always study after you have saved up, and continue your dream. Best wishes on your new job!

Wormy said...

Congratulations!!!

**City Girl said...

Congratulations! How exciting for you! Good luck in Chicago, can't wait to hear about all your working girl stories in your new job!

Pam said...

Can't wait to have you back in Chicago, WG2! Congratulations!

Skywalker said...

I actually was reading thinking you were on your way to being a grad student and a full time employee (I did it and several of my friends as well).

Either way - you did what was best for you. Congrats and good luck!

Sarah said...

Congrats!! :)

Kristi said...

Congrats!! This is so exciting. (I was secretly hoping you would take the job in Chicago. I don't really know why!)

I think the creative writing class sounds like a great idea.

And I LOVE LOVE Ann M. Martin. The Baby-Sitters Club was my life when I was younger!!

flipflops said...

Congratulations! This all sounds so wonderful -- and it's so inspiring to another WG who's thinking she may want to move back to her hometown some time in the near future. Thank you for sharing this with all your readers, and good luck with the move!

Hazel said...

Congratulations! Although I'm sure it was a hard decision to make, I think you'll be happy you made it!

GIRL FROM THE LAND of 10KL said...

That's so wonderful! Welcome back to the Midwest =) Are you still going to blog?

Twenty-Something said...

SO EXCITING!!!! That must have been such a hard choice but I'm so glad your happy with your decision! You sound so excited to be able to go back home and see your family and friends all the time! I'm excited for you!!!

Best of Luck!

renee said...

Congrats on taking a job that you love. Those seem pretty few and far between these days. And as for Chicago, it's the best place in the world to be. Of course, I live in Lakeview so my opinion is a little biased...

Jess P said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!

Evangeline said...

Congratulations! I am really happy for you...and you know what, dont worry about grad school, because if something is supposed to happen, it will.

themanhattantransfer said...

Congrats on your big decision!

Jobs that come with frequent flier miles are always a plus in life.

Raychelle said...

Wow, Congratulations! So exciting!

Andrea said...

Congrats! Have a great move!

Lauren said...

What a great decision! Good luck with it...and congratulations!

Anonymous said...

So happy for you! I just received a job offer today and I can't tell you how much I felt for you during this time. I quit my job at the end of summer and have been applying like crazy, and have been feeling more rejection than I ever have in my life. I know exactly how you have feel and how excited you must be.

By the way I also live in Chicago, so hearing that you were coming here to try and find a job made me cheer for you even more. Good luck in your new position. I'll be thinking of you!

Elle said...

Congratulations! :0)

Melissa said...

How exciting for you -- congratulations! (Think you could coach some of us on how to arrive at really good, solid decisions? ;) )

Non Sequitur Chica said...

Congrats! Chicago is an awesome city so you will have a great time!

And I also share your love of Corner Bakery (drool).

ash said...

congrats on the new job!
i think you made the right choice too! grad school is always there and when you have the money you can attend, but great jobs are NOT always there and PAY INCREASE in this econ! GOOD FOR YOU:)

Mishi said...

Congratulations WG2! I was really happy for you when I read this post. Good luck with the new job, and finding a new apartment.

:)

Emily said...

Last year I left a job I thought was my "dream job" (working at a large PR firm) for something totally different because PR was killing my soul.

I'm much happier now AND get paid more to do a less soul-crushing job, even though it's not the path I'd always thought I would take.

Sassy Molassy said...

Congratulations! Sounds like a tough decision to make. That's going to be very exciting. Can't wait to hear about the new adventures that await you.

Legallyheidi said...

that is so incredibly exciting :) I'm excited for you!!! :) :)

Mommy2lilgems said...

Congrats! Can't wait till you're here in the Windy City and writing about all things Chicago, cause then I'll be able to relate even more!

Blaez said...

that's awesome!!

welcome back (soon) to the Windy City!!!

Big Red said...

That is wonderful!! Congratulations. What a fabulous opportunity!