Dream your dreams cautiously.
I am a lawyer and have a unicorn of a legal job—Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, with a good salary and full benefits. I started out at a big corporate firm where I was overworked and miserable, and thought this opportunity would be the key to happiness. Three years later, I’ve realized the law (primarily the constant conflict and lack of creativity) just isn’t for me. I am considering going back to school for a master’s related to my undergraduate degree, a field in which I think I would be happy and excel.
My hesitations are twofold: First, I’ve already spent seven years in school and amassed massive student loans which I will be repaying until I’m almost 40 (obviously much longer if I go back to school). I’ve already made the wrong major/career choice once, and I’m genuinely worried I’m just thinking about going back to school because that’s where people go when they don’t know what else to do. Second, I’m in my early 30s and planning on having kids in the next few years, right when I would be finishing my program, presumably unemployed and without any kind of maternity leave benefits. I am sometimes tempted to stick it out in this job in order to ensure my kids will not have to struggle the way I am now.
—Job Moans and Student Loans