The last couple of days have been interesting, in that I’ve had to reevaluate some matters. I have a fantastic, gorgeous old friend, H, living on the West Coast, in San Diego, who is British and has actually been studying post-grad at San Diego State. Now, normally I would be obscenely jealous, however this girl is the real deal and totally deserving – a fact further proven by the incredible help she’s been giving me this week.
I fired a list of questions at her- and pre-warned her that more would be imminent – because like a lot of international students attempting to apply to the US system, I’m freakin’ confused! Luckily she was more than happy to write essay-sized replies to help clarify things for my pea-brain, and that was where the reevaluation began. It’s become pretty incontrovertible to me that while my heart beats for New York, it might not be the best option financially, and so it may have to be put on hold. I’ve had a scout around at all the options in the past, and I’ve now revisited these to add a bevvy of beautiful, fully funded programs to my agenda. Don’t worry, because I’m a glutton for punishment, and just darn curious, I’ve also kept 3 out of my original 4 New York choices on my hitlist; NYU bit the dust.
While a minimally funded program might be manageable in Alabama for example, where the cost of living is reputably very low – thank you Poets&Writers for this helpful 2012 information grid – with rent and having a social life being the price we know it to be in Manhattan, I’d be dropping myself in to a pit of debt. Something that really drove this home for me was looking at a copy of my lovely friend H’s Form I-20 – the way that your financials are listed in comparison to the required funding for the program you embark on, along with living expenses, made it quite evident to me that I would need to be a realist in this part of the application journey.
At first I was verging on sadness to have to reassess but I know that studying for a couple of years in one place in the States won’t stop me from getting to New York – in fact hopefully by then, I’ll have connections and experience which could lend me an opportunity or affiliation to actually take me there! I am definitely dreaming of Hunter every night still, and there is a flicker of hope, hidden behind my inky hands, that I might be offered funding unexpectedly and end up in Manhattan. Now though, typing this after a long shower on a murky Thursday evening here in the UK, I’m brimming over at the prospect of immersing myself in other states, I revel in new prospects and unknown paths. When it comes to moving around, I would definitely consider myself something of a gypsy or a nomad… if nomads often lug around weighty cases filled with books, that is.
Here’s the final 9 in no particular order – you can also find them on my new map page!
- Hunter College
- Sarah Lawrence
- Cornell University
- Columbia University
- Ohio State University
- The University of Virginia
- Virginia Polytechnic in Blacksburg
- The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa