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I am currently deciding between two graduate programs. One is in Denver, and the other is in Los Angeles. My girlfriend and I have been together for over five years since high school and all throughout college. I have known her for almost a decade. I can definitely see myself marrying this girl later down the road and we have an extremely good thing going on right now. All of my family and hers are in Denver, as well as our friends. I have two choices:
1) Stay in Denver and be with my girlfriend. Attend the graduate program at a great school, but one that does not offer the type of research I want to study. This means later down the road, I may never get a chance to get into a field that I highly desire.
2) Leave my family and friends, go to LA, and attend a graduate program at an equally, if not better, school. This school, however, does offer the type of research I am interested in and truly excels in it. The downside? My girlfriend will not be coming with me, meaning the end of our great relationship. She wants to stay in Denver for a few reasons: to look after her parents and siblings, not wanting to leave her life to start a completely new one, and several others. I have asked her numerous times to come with me to LA, but she just won't budge... A long distance relationship will not work, and it will take me at least five years to complete the program.
I have to make this decision in less than a month and it is tearing me apart. I just simply cannot choose one over the other. Sacrifice my career interests to be with the love of my young life...or go to LA and follow the direction of my desired career, as well as grab the opportunity to live in a thriving, fun city during my mid-20's. This is a life-altering decision that warrants a great deal of consideration, but I just can't come to the best decision. I know I am young and will meet plenty of other women, but I really feel like this is the one person I would like to settle down with, even though I would have to accept the reality that she isn't willing to sacrifice for the sake of my career interests.
I feel that I'll be happiest with her in Denver rather than by myself in LA.. but then again, there is always the possibility of something happening to our relationship down the road that will make me regret not going to LA forever. If I go to LA, I may have missed out on being with someone who I can truly connect with and is just perfect for me in every way, even though I might never know it.
I know this decision is ultimately mine to make, but I could use some other perspectives in this situation. As corny as it may sound, would YOU choose career or love?