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I am considering staying an extra two years in Calgary to pursue some learnin’. That’s right, getting me some education. Just to be clear – my original plan was to move to New Zealand this fall.

So, my job at an optical place will pay for half of my schooling to take an Optician’s course.  In Canada a license is required to be an Optician, so I would be graduating with an Optician’s license (not a degree). While it’s been an option for as long as I’ve been working there (and I could have already started! Arg!) I hadn’t really given it much serious thought. Well, one of my co-workers and I got to chatting about it and it actually does sound like a pretty perfect opportunity for someone in my position. “Someone in my position” I guess meaning someone who’s got giant plans that will require a lot of money, and average-ish job experience to back them up.

Allow me to also point out that an Optician is NOT the same as an Optometrist. An Optician is the Optometrist’s bitch. Or,

A licensed health care practitioner who makes, dispenses, fits, or sells eyeglasses and/or contact lenses, for remedying defects of vision in accordance with the prescriptions of ophthalmologists and optometrists.

So, it is more or less the equivalent of being a pharmacist for glasses only. Sorry guys, no drugs.

Let’s discuss.

Why I should do it:

- The course is cheap. Cheap to begin with, not including how much my employer will pay (half!)

- Once I become a student Optician, I get a raise. Once I am licensed, I get a raise.

- Money aside, this is actually something I really enjoy doing. No, I don’t want to do it for the rest of my life (I want to live on a self-sufficient farm in Colombia for the rest of my life, but still in el futuro). But, I absolutely love my job now and would be more than happy to carry on as a practicing Optician, and having it as a fallback job option. When I do eventually move to New Zealand, I’ll have increased my job opportunities tenfold.

- By staying here an extra two years, and with a raise, I’ll be able to save a shit-tonne of money and be able to go on a giant extravagant trip for like 5 years (including a year livin’ it up in New Zealand).

- I kind of snuck into this job. I sort of had a friend’s mom who used to work there tell me she thought it would be something I’d be really good at. She recommended me for the job, and I ended up getting it. It paid off, though! Anyways, you could say I snuck into this opportunity. That does not seem like the sort of opportunity that one should pass up.

- The course is only two years (or one and a half to fast track it, my plan). Also, it’s almost entirely practicum which means LITTLE TO NO homework! Perfect for a girl like me. I hate homework, and I could never commit to more than a year and a half of school.

- There are actually a lot of awesome charity programs I can become involved in as an Optician. You are required to be a licensed Optician to work with charities that dispense donated glasses around the world. It could be me!

- I can still go on some trips during this time frame. I don’t have to be 100% locked to Calgary the WHOLE while.

- After 2 years of living in a truck I both long for a brief period of being settled, and to be back living in my truck. But, it might be nice to move in somewhere and know I’ll be living there for a long time. You know, settle down a little bit. Temporarily, of course. Very temporarily.

- I will also have this time to beef up my shit in other ways. You know, like learn guitar, take a bar-tending course, learn Russian. All things I am actually wanting to do, by the way.

So let’s summarize: More money, cheap school, qualifications to carry on with me, getting paid more to do exactly what I’m doing right now, saving up cash, moving to New Zealand with better prospects, taking advantage of a really good opportunity, learning stuff!, more job experience to go along with it, possible sweet charitable work.

Why I shouldn’t do it:

- The idea of staying in Calgary for another two years is very, very unappealing.

- Boyfriend. Ok, I know it sounds silly, but he is not stoked on this plan. He was all set to roll out to New Zealand in the fall, and is not delighted at the thought of staying at the same job he’s at for another two years (or a similar job, or working much at all).

- I will be locked into a boring, monotonous routine! Yup, I won’t be able to take off whenever I like (because of SCHOOL) and I’ll be committed to staying at the same job for an extra two years! Same shit day in, day out for a set amount of time.

- I might go crazy staying in Calgary that long. I am already climbing the walls a little bit and looking forward to getting out of here.

- Don’t wanna do it until I’m 40.

Yeah yeah, so the pro’s outweigh the con’s by VOLUME, but how important is moving around freely with no commitments to me? I am an Aquarius, so pretty important. Buuuuuut, maybe it’s worth it? You know, to leave two years later with waaaay more money and something to back me up so I can take off for YEAARRS. But maybe I’ll go crazy in that time instead?

Fuck!

Luckily, I have until the fall to decide. I go to Cuba next month, and move out with my boyfriend April 1st. So, hopefully those things will influence my decision in one way or another and I can come to a happy conclusion that I’m excited about!

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