At the end of 2012, I stumbled across an amazing Peace Corps Fellows Masters in Teaching program. I use the term “stumbled across” loosely, as I was looking pretty specifically at Education programs.
At the time, I was only in my first months of Peace Corps and I knew I had at least a year and a half to weigh the options and pick a few schools to apply to. I made a glorious spreadsheet with 60 schools and judged them based on program credentials, cost, reply time from admissions staff, and more.
A year a half later I’d taken the GRE, formally asked people to be references and narrowed the list to only nine. And then my laptop was stolen.
Thankfully I’d spent enough time staring at that list to know what was on it. More importantly, I knew that I really, really wanted that first program I’d discovered.
Columbia Teacher’s College Peace Corps Fellows Program for a Master’s in Teaching with a three year teaching contract.
Doesn’t that sound amazing?
I applied. In January I flew to New York and interviewed. I held my breath for two months, it was pretty uncomfortable.
Two weeks ago I was accepted.
Huzzah! Hurray! Wahoo! And all manner of joy!
Here’s the thing: I’m not going. Not this year at least.
It is my dream program, it’s perfect for me and my professional goals, it’s amazing and I am honored to have gotten in. And when I go, I want to be ready to give it my absolute all.
Truth is, I’m not ready yet. Not financially, not emotionally.
I’m still readjusting.
I’m in love with a boy.
I just got a hefty promotion.
It’s not time for this yet and it took me a long time to figure that out because the second I even started thinking about this program, every single person around me started cheering for me to get in.
We all got so focused on that goal that we forgot the bigger goal: to be happy. To do what’s right for me.
I know I’ll get some flack for deferring. I know some people won’t get it. Some will make snide remarks.
I don’t give a flying duck. Or a sitting one, or a swimming one.
This is the best decision for me. You know when people say “well I just don’t want you to regret this later.” Well, you could take an awesome opportunity and still regret it. That’s how regret works.
The moral of my short story is this: you do you. No one else walks in your shoes or thinks your thoughts or hears the singing of your heart. Do the things that look insane and feel right. Just do you.
And best of luck.