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Life decision Advice

January 4, 2011

I have a question that I would like some advice on….

I graduated in August 2009 with my degree in Interior Design. I do like Interior Design, I like space planning/way finding mostly, but I’m not a big fan of decorating (which incidentally most people think that Interior Design has to be what they see on HGTV… argh) I have not been able to find a field related position in the past year and a half. I do have a job at Kroger, and hate it with a passion. Anyway, I have come up with 2 possible ideas. The first is to finish the first degree I started, and finish Graphic Design in 2 years. It would be my second bachelor degree because my GPA is .02 too low to go to grad school. If I go back, I can both improve my GPA significantly, and more importantly combine it with my interior design degree and do exhibit design (here’s an example: http://www.premierdisplays.com/our-work/). Exhibit design would be really cool, and trade show design even cooler. I have decided to make it a goal to be able to design (or probably rather be part of a team that designs) an exhibit for E3. Also, a perk about graphic design is to be able to do what I want, I don’t have to rely on somebody to give me 2 years experience so I can take some government test (NCIDQ) so I can practice interior design legally. Instead, with Graphic Design, I can always do a little freelancing if I can’t find a company to hire me.

The other thing I’ve been considering the past few weeks is teaching ESL in South Korea. Why? Several reasons, first and foremost I really feel I need more adventure in my life. My life is pretty dull, as I spend most of my time working a job I hate, and then coming home and spending some time on the internet before I go to bed. Not exactly exciting. Also, because I can pay off most of my debt in just 1 year of being in Korea…. something like 10,000USD. It’s also a great time to do some soul searching, especially since I know I will be placed a bit out of my comfort zone (which I believe is needed for decent self examination). South Korea’s ESL program has some great perks including the number of days off, the number of hours you work a week (not including overtime), the fact they pay for your rent, and they will pay for your airfare. Additionally, they also give you a months pay at the end of a 12 month contract. South Korea also has Universal health Care, which is still paid for but the schools pay for half and its approximately 20$ for the other half. Not bad… On the same note, cost of living is supposed to be fairly cheap, which means more saved money as compared to JET in Japan. They also pay on average 2million won (or approximately 1800USD) on top of all that. That means I could send 800 or so home every month and still have quite a bit to play with or use for living expenses.I’d be able to come back with little to no debt, which means a lot of freedom.

The problems with these ideas….

I was just re-accepted to USA right before christmas, and didn’t get any information until after Christmas. I am still waiting on hearing back from financial aid office to see how much government loans I am eligible for. I am not exactly certain, as this is my second BFA. Also, because it is taking so long (schools starts in less than 15 days) I am not sure what to do about housing. I do have the majority of my family that lives an hour away. Its possible I may be able to live with somebody no longer than a semester. Also there is always the fact that I might go to Korea and decide I should’ve had a completely different major. For example, somebody on a blog I was reading went to SK and paid off student loans, came back to the states and got their MFA in English. Now they teach in the UAE for something like 80,000USD a year.

With Korea, there are all sorts of problems. First is that I have to stay at Kroger for another 2 months. This is partially a good thing because I JUST got my health insurance there, and I can spend 2 months going to the doctor… But otherwise, I really don’t want to be there any longer. I don’t know the language, and will have to rely on some others (such as my co-teacher) until I can get a grasp on how things are there. My brain just sort of went blank on all the reasons, but there were a few obvious ones.

Now I’m trying to figure out if I should go to school, and not go to Korea… or vice versa… or do both, but in what order…. I’m sort of thinking I’m gonna try to get everything for school ready, and then go for a semester of graphic design, and then a year of Korea and then come back not having to pay a ton of bills every month. But I would really like whatever advice, questions you might have to help me decide. Thanks!

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