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Billy_Pilgrim

Feeling a lot of guilt today

5 posts in this topic

I have posted about this several times, but over the weekend, I accepted a spot that I'm actually not crazy about, and I am feeling very discouraged. I had for weeks been torn between a program that offered a lot of funding and a program where I felt welcomed. I originally accepted the offer to the school where I felt welcomed, but after watching a lot of youtube videos about student debt and reading way too many posts on here, I decided I needed to retract my acceptance and go with the school that offered funding. I feel so bad. I really loved the program I initially accepted; I got along well with my mentor; the students were great. But, it would have been about $20,000 more expensive. I feel really lost and discouraged today. I feel like I wasn't true to myself in my decision. Words of advice or encouragement are very much welcome.

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If they weren't offering enough money for you to sustain yourself, were they really that welcoming? Well intentioned, maybe, but you should remember that they were willing for you to take on serious debt in order to be there. Taking the offer with funding was and is the smarter decision! It's okay to be unsure, but once the dust has settled, you should start finding ways to get excited about your new school -- sometimes it can take some time, especially when the process is emotionally difficult, but at the end of the day you made the right decision, and you should be proud of that. 

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@fuzzylogician Yeah. I realize it was probably the smarter decision. It was just so difficult because they were so nice and made me feel like I was a good fit - which I believe I was. I also feel shitty because I had initially accepted their offer. I haven't heard back since rejecting the offer. I definitely feel like I've burned some bridges, without the intention of doing so. It's been a very emotional few weeks lol. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond!

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Well, hopefully they can understand that funding is really important in the decision. And -- I really believe this is true -- there is no "one perfect fit" that is the only one for us. There are many options out there that lead us in different directions, and you never know what would have been if you'd gone down another path. All you can do is embrace the one you're on and believe that it, too, has good things about it that will get you toward your final goal, although the actual path you take might be different. 

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First, I think your confusion and doubt is totally reasonable, and if I were in your position I would try as much as possible to be kind to you. Deciding where to go, and actually going there feels like (and is!) a huge decision. I think it's really exciting you had these two offers-- and I 100% agree with @fuzzylogician that it's okay to have prioritized your material wellbeing over the sensation of being welcomed. I also think it's weird that we get this one in-person glimpse during interviews, and most everything else is on paper. That is to say, there might be things about the school you turned down that were more negative that you didn't experience, and things about the school you've decided to attend that ARE really positive that, for whatever reason, did not come across.

Second, while it may feel like bridges were burned, the program or mentor probably won't be holding a grudge. It seems like you communicated in a timely manner, and they understand it's a weird time and that there's a lot of pressure on you. If anything they were probably sad that one of their top candidates wasn't able to attend-- and they likely understand that they would have better drawing power if they had more substantial financial aid. 

My final thought is that transferring isn't completely out of the question. If you HATE the school you've currently selected, you will be able to navigate those options down the road. But, I agree that it'll be best to go "full steam" toward this school, get the full picture, and find the components about that school that you like and can be excited about!

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