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  1. #11
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I don't think you need a PhD to teach at Community College. When I went there in the late nineties you didn't, but maybe things have changed.

    My husband and I are in the boat you are afraid of sailing in. We have around $100K or student debt and he is driving a truck making $40-something K a year.

    Right now our saving grace is that we've qualified for income based repayment , which is a new-ish program. May or may not help, but it might be worth looking into.

    I read somewhere that INTPs and INFPs can have a tendency to be professional students.

    Anyway, FWIW, we've really struggled a lot financially (we have four kids, along with the other stuff -- we married young and were kind of naive about the whole grown-up thing.) It can be a real drain on your psyche and relationship to be flat broke and worried about money all the time.

    However, good partners -- compatible ones, can be hard to come by. I think I probably would have discouraged his graduate studies if I had it to do over again, but I don't think I'd really change a whole lot else. We do really love each other and all the struggles have made us a pretty strong team. I know, come hell or high water, I can rely on this man and I think he knows, come hell or high water, I will be there with him.

    OTOH, with our kids, we do push them to get good grades so that they can get scholarships. We don't push them crazy hard. We don't really have to. They are all fairly intelligent, so all we have to do is make sure they complete and turn in their homework and they do just fine. But we preach Scholarships/Grants = good. Student loans = evil. We didn't have that kind of guidance, but by golly, our kids are getting it.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  2. #12
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    I teach at a community college, and I know you don't have to have a PhD to get hired. It might help, sure. It might make you a more attractive candidate. But is the advantage worth $100K in debt? Absolutely not. I've considered getting a PhD, but then I realized that it would mostly be to prove to myself I could do it and for the education itself, and not because of any extremely high aspirations I have to be tenured at a prestigious university. If he's going to be happy teaching at a CC, he really doesn't need the PhD.

    I agree with whoever said he could wait a while, take some time off and teach.

    I know if I had 100K of debt, I would be extremely depressed and discouraged as I tried to pay it off with my meager salary, knowing I couldn't have any "fun" stuff for a very long time.
    Something Witty

  3. #13
    From the Undertow CuriousFeeling's Avatar
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    1) For the financial problem: is his plan sensible? Can you realistically live on 40K a year and pay back 100K of debt?
    It will take years to pay back that debt on a 40K income. I'm not sure how much interest the bank expects for him to pay back on a yearly basis, so this is another factor to take into consideration too. If I were in his situation, I'd get a teaching job first in the secondary level to gain enough income to pay off the student loans and save up for the grad school. Once that has been accomplished, and he's paid off the loan (or at least 75% of it), then go for the doctorate degree. Also, I recommend him to check into the university's financial aid office to see if they can offer him grants/ scholarships/ financial aid plans.

    2) Should I let him know that the relationship might have to end if he does this PhD? I don't want to force him too choose. Do I say nothing and let him make his decision or should I tell him to take this into account as well? It's not that I plan to break up with him as soon as he decides to go. It's not even certain yet. But if he chooses to go, there will be almost no chance of us being together physically again and I'm not sure our relationship can survive that kind of indefinite uncertainty.
    Don't force an ultimatum. Rather than having him choose between the relationship and the doctorate degree, the best thing to do is to ask him if he thinks that the relationship will be feasible if he decides to pursue the doctorate degree. Do you have the option of traveling to see him? If so, consider doing that. If traveling to him isn't possible, then the both of you will have to weigh out if you two could handle not seeing each other for an extended period of time.

    3) I have this feeling that he doesn't fully realize the implications of that much financial burden yet. However, I'm not entirely sure if my underlying motivation for not wanting him to go for the PhD is not actually a selfish one. If that's his calling, then I can accept the fact that our life paths might have to go in different directions. I just want to be certain that he knows what he is choosing. My INFP is prone to regrets -- I don't want years from now to hear that he is unhappy and regrets his choice and he's stuck with it for the rest of his life. What should I do? What can I do? Is it even up to me at all?
    It's up to him to decide to pursue the degree. If he feels inclined to do it, then he should go for it. He just needs to have the financial half presented to him. Be upfront about the financial problems to him. I dated an INFP, and he was not the best with finances either, and I didn't hesitate to tell him if he was making the wrong move with his money.

    In sum, I think that you two should have a "state of the relationship" discussion, cos it sounds like to me that you're afraid that you'll ultimately have to break up with your boyfriend because you'll never get to see him again. Not a good sign to me, and it needs to be discussed.

    I hope this advice was useful for you.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Johari/Nohari

    “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings -- always darker, emptier and simpler.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche




  4. #14
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    You can always go back to school and get a phd...you can't return it though.
    No, no you can't ... it's not as simple as that. Life changes continually, and sometimes there just is no do-over. If he doesn't do this now, the chances (as an INFP particularly) are good that it will be a continual regret too. Once family and children come along ... those are the priorities. Even actually having this thesis accepted at this point, there's no guarantee it will be this easy again in the future.

    That's why I'm an advocate of extreme creativity here. 15 years ago, I fund-raised over $25000 for a little known charity project in less than a few months, so I know it can be done. That was before the internet, all done through networking, personal contacts, walk-a-thons, grant applications etc.

    You simply make yourself the project here. You'd be surprised at how many people and organizations may want to offer to help.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
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    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
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  5. #15
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the great ideas and support! I truly appreciate all of your feedback!

    Red Herring: That sounds very heartening! Thank you! My INFP is asking his supervisor if it would be possible to work as a teaching assistant during his studies. If that's an option, he can borrow much less and there's a chance that it's going to work out okay after all. I don't know if he really knows what he wants in life, but I know he wants this degree very much. Well, if it comes down to it sometime in the future that I must move to another country, there is still a chance. I know my family would want me to go and be happy. However, I don't know if I will be able to forgive myself. I've got a loving, supportive family and all they ever ask of me is to be around, and if I can't even do that I would probably feel like a horrible, selfish person for the rest of my life. Right now I'm just trying to avoid thinking about it

    Randomnity: Thank you! Your advice sounds very sensible, and I wish he would really think things through with the finance bit. Whenever I force him to plan things it stresses him out so much that I feel like I'm being mean. He'd probably be horrified by the idea of putting all the numbers on a spreadsheet to see if it would work. Maybe I should do it for him. My J-ness is freaking out about not having a plan (This happens a lot in our relationship ). So many important factors are up in the air right now and the university is pressing him to decide within a month. I guess we need to sit down over skype this weekend and really talk about the options.

    kiddykat: Thank you for your inspirational words! I really, really want to believe that love conquers all (and deep down I sorta do). I know that despite all my reasoning, as long as it feels right, I'm probably going to go with it anyway. Long-distance is just hard. As time goes by without any real prospect of being together again, you can't help but go into this downward spiral of is-it-worth-it. Your friend's story is so sweet -- proof that it can be done. I'll do my best to try to remain optimistic!

    cafe: Aww, you guys seem to be a great, great couple! I'm so happy for you. Thanks for sharing your insight and experience. I totally agree with the 'professional students' comment. My INFP actually said that he would love to be a student all his life. One time he said he was thinking about going to yet another school for a few years after getting his PhD and I got quite a bit mad at him. I can't help but feel like I'm evil for being so realistic. I always thought I was not a realistic person, but being in this relationship sometimes makes me feel like I'm a practicality tyrant.
    Your kids are lucky. This simple advice would save them tons of money in the long run. It's frightening to think that most people have never been taught the right attitude and skills in handling their money.

    Tallulah: Thanks! I'll let him know. I'm afraid his case is similar to yours in that it's more about doing something he loves and proving that he can be successful in it rather than wanting a job at a good university. And he should try teaching first to see if he actually likes teaching. Good point!

    CuriousFeeling: Yes, it's certainly helpful. Thanks. I think I really do need to discuss the relationship aspect with him. It's still going to sound like I'm forcing him to choose though. He sensed the other day over the phone that I was sad about the prolonged long-distance and he got depressed. I told him it was not his fault, but it still bothered him a lot. I hope we'd be able to work out an alternative that will allow us to see each other and not go into financial ruin.

  6. #16
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    That's why I'm an advocate of extreme creativity here. 15 years ago, I fund-raised over $25000 for a little known charity project in less than a few months, so I know it can be done. That was before the internet, all done through networking, personal contacts, walk-a-thons, grant applications etc.
    Wow, that's impressive!


    Yes, that's exactly his fear that if he doesn't do it now the opportunity will be lost forever. This partial scholarship is not deferrable, and there is no guarantee that he's going to get it again when he applies in the future.

  7. #17
    From the Undertow CuriousFeeling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21% View Post

    CuriousFeeling: Yes, it's certainly helpful. Thanks. I think I really do need to discuss the relationship aspect with him. It's still going to sound like I'm forcing him to choose though. He sensed the other day over the phone that I was sad about the prolonged long-distance and he got depressed. I told him it was not his fault, but it still bothered him a lot. I hope we'd be able to work out an alternative that will allow us to see each other and not go into financial ruin.
    Could visit each other during holidays and have three to four day weekends if necessary.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Johari/Nohari

    “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings -- always darker, emptier and simpler.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche




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