So I'm not-quite-halfway done with the requirements for my master's. If I went the route I wanted to go originally I'd be not-quite a third of the way done. (One program is 2 years, the other is 3, for anyone as bad at math as I am, lol.)
I'm really happy with the program itself - it's all online, and it's something I can afford. Logistically it's perfect - I can stay at home with my toddlers and then by the time I would graduate, they'd be about school-age and I could then focus a bit more on work.
I also have danged little choice in the school - it's the ONLY one in the country so far that teaches the obscure subject. It's so new it's not even accredited (although it almost is, and it's legal degree-granting; the accreditation process just takes a while).
But umm. I'm still unhappy. There seems to be a bit of a mismatch between the other students and myself. There are a few other students in my age group but the majority are quite a bit older (I'm in my late 20's; most range from 40's to 60's even). That shouldn't make much of a difference, really, but it does, socially. There's a lot of discussion about feminism, politics, etc. - and coming from a different generation they have different perspectives on a lot of issues. And they have a lot of professional experience to talk about.
There are three individuals who are around my age, and one is in a very similar position as me - mother of two young kids, similiar in personality - but she has experience running a spiritual group, also works outside the home, etc. I don't feel at this point in my life that I have enough leeway in my life to start any sort of ministerial group. I'm getting out of an abusive relationship and my focus is being a SAHM to two VERY spirited toddlers. Running a group, even on a casual basis? Not happening. That's slated for the future - once this program is completed. That's been the plan all along - especially since it's a ministry training program. I mean, is it terribly unrealistic to get training BEFORE you start doing the work you're getting trained to do? Etc.
The other two ladies my age are childless (one of them for the time being, and one of them adamently childless-by-choice). Both of them are somehow... I don't know. I feel they're more respected.
Honestly I feel like I'm not respected much in the program. In college I didn't feel this way at all; here, I feel almost patronized. I don't slack on my work, I put in just as much energy as anyone else. In fact, I'm putting in more - I was told I was the only one who was taking a full courseload this semester (five classes) where everyone else only takes one or two. Well, but see, I actually care about finishing the master's program, whereas others aren't typically in it for the degree but rather a class here or there.
I'm learning a lot, and I think I have a lot to contribute to the discussions, but again, I just feel like my arguments are... again, that word, patronized. It's not just one class, either. Some are worse than others, but it generally tends to be the trend.
I think there's a groupthink that's started to happen within the program, and to be perfectly honest, I don't fit into it well. I just don't buy all the arguments they come up with and back each other on. I'm always respectful of my differences of opinion and back it up with literature that we're reading, and just... I'm not trying to go against the grain, but I am trying to present my authentic perspective as well. And it seems like it's just not fitting in well with the rest of the groups'.
So, OK. We've established that the program isn't a complete fit for me. But, I've started it and I don't want to just have all this time and effort wasted. Because it HAS been a lot of effort! The credits won't transfer to another program because the institution isn't accredited. I'd have to start all over with another Master's (my B.A. is a totally worthless English degree that I never got a job with, so I pretty much need a grad degree). And I probably couldn't afford another program. And there is no similar program to transfer to, anyway, because like I said, it's the ONLY one currently available in the country.
So, ye of the student mama's board... what would you do if you were me?