No Masters

I think I’ve made a huge mistake.

I’ve spent the last year working toward my Master’s degree in English and Creative Writing in the hopes that once I graduate I’d be able to teach dual enrollment in the high school that I teach or college classes at the local community college. The thing is, I don’t enjoy reading and grading essays, not one bit. I enjoy reading my critique groups fiction pieces and writing my own fiction much more.

So, now I’m half-way through the Master’s program and I don’t think I want to continue. I mean, the only reason I was getting the degree was to increase my chances of teaching at the college level. And I’ve already disclosed that I don’t like grading essays, like the ones they write in college. (See where this is going?)

The pay increase for getting my Master’s is minimal while the payback of student loans will take me until I’m ready to retire from the school district I’m currently working in. That’s fourteen years from now, and even then the loans might not be paid off. I’d much rather pay off what I already owe and continue writing than to be saddled with $20,000 or more to pay back and be chained to a job I hate.

I feel a little guilty about not finishing, though. I mean, my husband is going to be somewhat annoyed with the money I spent. (I can’t call it wasted; it showed me what I don’t want to do with my life.) And what am I teaching my daughters? That quitting is an option? Actually, it is. If it’s not something I love to do, then why do it? I don’t need that degree to find work; I have a job. I don’t need it to prove I’m a good writer; I have short stories and a nearly completed manuscript for that.

And I don’t need it to show that I have worth. I have friends and family that love me, and above all, I am a daughter of the Creator. I’m worthy enough.

So, I’ve made a mistake. Big deal. It would have been a bigger mistake to reach the end of my course work and realized then that I don’t want to keep teaching. At least I can make a plan to get back on track with my writing, pay off my debt, and do what I love. Which is not grading essays. (I know, I know – you’ve already heard that.)

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