Grad School–AHHH!

So, I’ll kick things off with some BIG NEWS worthy of its own post.

I’m returning to Seattle this fall to attend the University of Washington!!! I’m going to be a student at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs (http://www.evans.washington.edu). Ultimately, I will receive in two years a Master’s in Public Affairs (MPA) degree, and I plan on specializing in non-profit management. Just this morning, I sent off most of the paperwork that will let the people at UW know that YES, I am accepting their offer.

Even though I talked long and loudly last year about how, yeah, I was definitely/for sure going to UW, once I actually received my acceptance into New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, I went into a tailspin. My old obsession/fantasy about living in NYC (particularly the Village, downtown, naturally) reared its head again. As usual, I could see all the pros & cons of Seattle vs. New York, and I spent about two weeks constantly turning over various scenarios in my head.

Both programs are pretty equal as far as name recognition, faculty, career services, curriculum, etc. Of course, NYU carries a little more prestige and “coolness” to it, BUT there was a huge difference as far as $$$$ goes between the two schools. Basically, I was looking at potentially having NO debt if I went to UW vs. potentially owing over $50,000 after NYU. Pretty big difference, and especially scary for someone who never had any loans from undergrad (SO glad I didn’t go into debt to live in Omaha for 4+ years!!!).

So the tie-breakers for me were money and lifestyle. Although I felt like I would get “big-city living” out of my system this year in Korea, I find that it hasn’t happened. This is probably due to the fact that I spend my week in a Seoul suburb. So I don’t have to worry about dealing with crowds and packed subways on a day-to-day basis. Thus, the idea of living & commuting in NYC (Brooklyn to downtown Manhattan) didn’t sound so bad. But then I remembered how much I detested the 20 min. commute I had from our house on Stoughton St. in Dorchester to NDEC in South Boston. Given that now I just have to walk down a massive hill to JEL, I’m looking forward to having an apartment in the U-District and simply walking over to UW’s campus.

I think I’ll be able to satisfy any big-city cravings I have next year with a trip to Vancouver, B.C. (Never did make it up there last year.) At the beginning of this year, I was really missing seeing Mt. Rainier (or sort of seeing it through a mist of clouds) as well as hanging out at Green Lake or Gasworks, so now I can look forward to seeing some greenery for a change. I’ll be missing the smell of Seoul street food vendors for sure, but that’s all the more reason for me to return!

So as of now, I plan on studying Korean language at a university in Seoul for summer 2006. In between my two years at UW. I’m going to try my best to sign up for Korean classes this fall, too, because my Korean grandmother (Halmoni) is waiting for the day when I can say more than “komapsamnida” (thank you very much).

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3 Comments

Filed under Updates

3 responses to “Grad School–AHHH!

  1. Sam

    YEAH!!!!!
    im so happy that you are heading to UW.

  2. Jen Strong

    Hey Sarah!

    I think you made the right choice. To come out of grad school with a high debt just stinks! Not that I know from personal experience, but I’ve watched friends worry about paying off both undergrad and grad school loans. Besides, you could always do the NYC thing after you’ve gotten a high paying job 😉 From what I can tell, NYC is much better when you’ve got disposable income!

  3. some girl from mn

    booo grad school! you should stay in seoul… yep, definitely. definitely stay in seoul…

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