1. Does this degree give me the credentials, knowledge, or expertise to excel in my desired field?
2. Is this degree going to pay for itself - either by being free, reduced, or raising my earning potential to comfortably cover any incurred debt?
4. Should I consider part time, full time, or distance learning?
5. Are there people around me who will keep me accountable and give me relief?
6. Are there things in my life I can reduce so my load is more manageable?
7. Does this program/school have a reputation for helping students manage their load?
Empowered with these practical answers, I was almost ready to apply. I am blessed to have a strong support system and as unpredictable as life is, I thought this may be the ideal time to do this degree. Yet, something was still gnawing at my spirit. Another existential, personal, and private question continued to whisper to me. When I sat quiet long enough, I heard it:
8. Does this degree define me?
Their words were sobering and liberating. These were people I revered and they had often struggled, sometimes given up, and sometimes overcame. They helped me answer this last question definitively. Does this degree define me? Hell no. Like Lebron's decision to play for LA, I was great before I came and I will be great when I leave. I do not need a degree to validate my greatness (sometimes I think a degree can obscure it).
I hope this is helpful to all sitting with your own questions. There were other signs and stories in my decision, but answering these questions was critical. This degree is feasible and practically possible, but not definitive. Even if I don't go to college, I deserve to be on the court. Ah yeah, that's right. Give me my jersey and the ball. God be with me, I'm ready.