tough choices: to move or not?

1 March 2011

So.  Classes at the Portfolio School start the first week of April.  That’s just a few weeks.  YEAH.

This means trying to figure out whether or not I should move back to Chicago.  There are pros and cons to both — moving and staying.  But well, moving to Chicago will mean having rent to take care of, but less stress with my commute (and figuring out who I could crash with a couple nights a week).  Anyway.  I’m leaning towards moving back, but we’ll see how these things play out.

Moving to Chicago


  • It’s Chicago.
  • Less of a commute.
  • I have friends here.
  • I don’t have to rely on someone else’s schedule to get to and from work or school.
  • Much easier to balance work & school schedules since I’ll be in the same city.

  • Rent isn’t cheap
  • I’ll have to pay for food too.

Staying at Home


  • Free rent & food!
  • (as much as they stress me out) I do love my family
  • Duneland Friends Meeting
  • Free laundry

  • No privacy.
  • Very stressful
  • Commutes are going to suck balls.
  • I don’t get much, if any, say in the meals.
  • I don’t have a real room.
  • I don’t really have peers here to hang out with.

So, basically, it comes down to Chicago is just awesome, but will be more expensive.  Home is definitely cheaper, but way more stressful and the commuting isn’t ideal at all.  What out weighs what?  If I didn’t have my debt to think about, I’d be back in Chicago in a heart beat.  But I’m going to have to pay for school, rent, and food on top of my cell phone bill, whatever utilities aren’t included, and also credit card & medical debt.  That’s a bunch.  And chances are I’ll be working at Starbucks and Target or whatever place I can find that might have a flexible schedule.

Luckily, I have enough money to cover the first month of school. (THANKS.)  … I’m still not sure how it’s all going to work out.  I would love for school to just be paid for.  Or for my debt to just magically disappear.  Isn’t there some sort of fairy for that?  It’d be nice to have those burdens off my shoulders.  But what it’s going to come down to is a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

Did you know I am only one of two graphic design students admitted this quarter? Yeah, kind of awesome.

  • First of all, congrats on being one of two – that’s awesome!

    Second, as much as it sucks being at home and not in Chicago with friends, if your top priority is school then I think it makes sense to save the rent money and stay at your dads. All of that money you save can be put towards school and a degree from the Portfolio School will allow you the freedom to live in Chicago permanently when you’re done. I obviously can’t speak to your emotional state being stuck at home, but if it was me I’d just evaluate where my financial priorities were and go from there. (And from what I can tell from YOU, it’s definitely school.) I think it will be worth it in the long run to be able to earn that degree as quickly as possible so you can move on to bigger and better things, as hard as it may be.

    Maybe it will help ease your Chicago homesickness when you’re spending time in the city for classes? And I bet that commute will become treasured YOU time, where you put your headphones in and put some Mario on your DSi and just escape the chaos of your dad’s house. At least I hope it does 🙂

    • Erini

      Thanks Jenn!
      Yeah, as much as the commute won’t be idea (since I’ll have one class a day, 5 days a week… with both day and night classes), I’m willing to make it. It’s just under $7 one way, and with nice weather I can walk from the loop to school.

      I’ve also contacted all my new classmates? schoolmates? to see if anyone wants to attempt the roommate thing. While most of the apartments are actually cheaper (with utilities and all) than all of my chicago apartments, it’d be nice to see if I can find a place with a roommate where I’d be paying less than $600 for everything.

      That commute time will be great for actually using and TONS of DSi time. That thing will be my best friend all over again. 🙂

  • Only one of two? Very awesome. Congrats!

    If you look at your pros/cons list, obviously Chicago wins, but this is a lot to consider in quite a short amount of time. I say you look into moving back and see what’s available. If it works out — finding a job, an affordable apartment, etc. — or doesn’t, then that might make your decision for you. There are a lot of IFs to rely on. It doesn’t hurt to see which ones might happen first.

    • Erini

      Yeah, it’s going to take a lot of heavy thinking. And calculating. I’ve got to figure out what my real costs are going to be and make a decent guess towards what my income might be. I’ve got to weigh all of my options carefully.

      and thanks. 🙂

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