No. of Recommendations: 5
I've only got a minute to answer this (at work).

to vkg:

I don't see how the additional expenses of book and other incidental expenses would be handled.

Books are an educational expense, so they can be paid for with loans. Living expenses are paid from working.

Defer college a year and get a second job.

...I'm at 80% time right now at work, which lets me keep all my benefits. I could go back to full time. This is what I call the "nuclear option." I didn't give you my back story. I have worked at a patent law firm for nearly four years. One year ago I had a complete breakdown because I was completely miserable at work, doing something I (1) sucked at, and (2) didn't care about. In 2006 I was promoted from Assistant Science Advisor to Science Advisor on the request of a lawyer I had worked with. I think I knew at the time that this was a terrible idea, but with a 54% salary raise, I thought maybe I could learn. Maybe I could handle it.

No, I couldn't. I couldn't handle the increased responsibility. I was expected to perform at the same level as the other Science Advisors, who all had PhDs. I have a bachelor's degree. I was simply unqualified and did not have the technical knowledge expected of the Science Advisors. I received scathing performance reviews from the lawyers I worked with. I was terrified that I would get fired. I hoped to god that I would get fired.

Long story short, I asked to switch to part time, and I asked for a demotion, both of which they gave me at the beginning of this year. Things have drastically improved, but patent law is still not something I'm interested in. I need to move on.

School is moving on. After an entire year of soul-searching and career counseling, I think that getting a master's degree is what I want to do.

I think.

Sigh...still miserable deep down
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