A First Fall to Start From

I have reserved the purpose of this blog to lay out my goals and plans to get there in the business world. For the rest of my life (or at least, until retirement), I will fall short often. As an introduction to the goals and plans, and eventual achievement, today has provided me with a first fall to start from.

The university system will always have defects. Some will be more influential than others, but nevertheless, their existence is permanent. In my side of that world, this occurred when I attempted to sign up for classes this morning. I woke up an hour early to get all of my permission numbers gathered, and I had a schedule of available classes ready by the computer. Fifteen units worth of classes were available to edge me closer towards graduation, but when the time to sign up came around, I was able to sign up for only 6 units, or two classes.

The initial result was more devastating than expected. As a senior, with a wedding scheduled 15 months away, I had been hoping to graduate next May after 5 years at Cal State Northridge. Understandably, I learned two months back that this was not possible due to some prerequisite requirements that needed to be fulfilled. Despite this change in plans, I had reworked a new idea that would involve only one or two classes for the Fall ’11 semester, work part time in the meanwhile, and, based on a helpful email I received by personal finance writer Ramit Sethi including a paper titled “The Recession Proof Graduate” by Charlie Hoehn, I decided on offering free work to Disney Imagineering. The idea is, I could utilize that time prior to earning my degree to prove my abilities to Disney for the 3-4 months, then look into future paid employment with them. Of course, if this did not pan out right away, I had plenty of time in which I could repeat this and find a company to settle with in the meanwhile (JPL, based in Pasadena, has been another option for me since I have an emphasis in robotics).

Today’s news, however, made me realize that not only may I have to push back my plans a bit, which is fine enough by me, but that I may be a full time student when my wedding comes around. Now, I am keenly devoted to my goal of becoming an engineer, particularly a Disney Imagineer, but everything comes in due time, and with over three years of engagement already behind us, Ashley and I are not ready to change wedding plans, particularly after we already booked the site and the photographer. I know in the back of my mind that I am capable, but I am afraid of having to settle for wedding related things in exchange for more class. This is a once in a lifetime celebration, and I refuse to let school cut into it.

After some time away today, I picked up my thoughts and began planning again. I don’t mind making new plans; it’s actually quite fun for me, when I get immersed in it. Anyway, I have four new options that I believe are suitable:

  • First, I will continue pushing for the classes I need. It’s easy to lose sight of the requirements when the path becomes unfamiliar, but my degree is the biggest need overall.
  • Second, if I cannot add into enough classes, I may accelerate the free work idea for Disney. This will give me a lot more time to prove my abilities, or look elsewhere in the event that it doesn’t pan out now.
  • Third, also if I cannot add into enough classes, I will look for more hours at work, or another temporary job. While not the most exciting path, this will at least help with my financial situation when I do have to be enrolled in school while married.
  • Lastly, depending on the course my life takes in the next month or two, I may take my spare time and simply enjoy it. I realize that as soon as I graduate my time will be much more tied up, so perhaps I can do something to really appreciate my independence.

There are countless more options that I cannot foresee, but any opportunities will be noted in future posts. I believe that my life will reach the important goals, even if it takes time or an alternate route to get there.

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~ by MichaelStaudenmeir on July 9, 2010.

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