Do You Want Fries With That?

posted in: Life | 0

I remember being in high school and knowing exactly what I wanted to study in college.  Granted, I changed my mind every so often but at least I had ideas.  The contenders were psychology, medicine, law, and for whatever reason, chemical engineering.  As it turns out, I didn’t do any of that but that’s a topic for another time.  I am now faced with the decision of not only picking a school to transfer to so I can finish my bachelor degree but also choosing a major. I suppose they call them MAJOR for reason…picking one is a major pain in the butt!

I am “this” close to being 30 (there, I said it), in the greater scheme of things, but I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up.  No idea.  I’ve only ever worked in health care and after so many years of idleness I feel that I have no other marketable skills, no particular set of skills that would make me a good candidate for any one profession, I am not stupid but I am not necessarily brilliant…far from it.  I am not good at math and I suck at writing.  I am not artistically gifted nor am I good at coming up with unique concepts.  Quite honestly, I have nothing to offer to any one profession.  Then again, I’m probably my own worst critic.

Why do I insist in getting a degree (or two or three) then?  I don’t know but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that I am stubborn and I refuse to be uneducated…..whatever that means.  But I digress. I cannot, for the life of me, decide which school to actually pick because they all have pros and cons.  Here is my predicament.

The easiest option, and possibly the least regarding, is going to FIU (Florida International University).  My VA money would cover all the tuition and I would not have to worry about paying.  The downside is that they have nothing that really grabs me so I’d be getting a degree for the sake of it and it would be in something like English, Psychology, etc.  Do you want fries with that?

The second option, and the one I was actually working towards as of recently, is going to BU (Barry University).  The program I’d like to enroll in is the Cardiovascular Perfusion program (yay…something I think I’d actually be good at based on previous experience!).  It is the ONLY program in the state of Florida and competition is fierce.  It is application based and I’d have to complete a few pre-requisites before even applying.  The kicker is that they only take students for the fall semester so the earliest I could start the actual program is in the Fall of 2011.  The program takes 2 full time years to complete.  My concern here is that I will go to BU, do the prerequisite and not get into the program then I’m stuck there and will have to pick something else.  BU is about an hour drive from my house so if I’m going to do a “traditional” degree like English, Psychology, etc then I might as well go to the MUCH closer public school, FIU.  Not to mention the idle time until Fall 2011 As far as paying, taking into consideration my VA benefits and a BU scholarship I’d get, there would be very little out of pocket costs unless my VA benefits run out before I can finish the program.

The third option would be to go to UM (University of Miami).  They have lots that interest me and not all require program specific applications.  It is a good school with a good reputation, as well as a price tag to match.  That is the downside of UM, the cost. Tuition is in excess of $35k a year and their scholarship sucks.  Even after my VA benefits I’d be most of the tuition short and would have to take on student loans.  It would royally suck to have to get student loans since I spent 5 years in the Navy precisely for college money but would study something that I actually have interest in, like microbiology and immunology or neuroscience.

As you can see, I’m in a bit of a pickle and I don’t know what to do. I do have to pull my finger out soon since the fall semester is only like, oh, a few months away but I can’t decide.  The prospects of enormous student loans scare me but so do the prospects of studying something I’ll hate.

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