This entry originally appeared on my disability blog, I hate stairs.

G. V. 'Sonny' Montgomery Monument
Image by T Hall via Flickr

This semester is my last. If I can get through my last seven hours, I will be graduating with an MBA in May. The choice is where I want to go after that. As it stands now, I see that I have two options. The first is to go back to Jackson and apply for a job at our Apple Retail Store or Cellular South, and live at home. The second is to get a job on campus at Mississippi State University and live in an apartment right next to campus. There are pros and cons to both.

My primary reason for staying on campus is my level of independence. It is much greater here on campus than it is at home. For example, I can leave my apartment anytime I want and go to the bookstore or library or the coffee shop—I’m connected by sidewalk. Although I could make more money in Jackson (well, the surrounding areas), I would lose my level of independence, which I have come to enjoy over the past six years.

Another reason to stay on campus is that my potential job would be in a Web-related field (Web Content Producer). I believe I would enjoy that more than an IT or sales job. I’ve applied for the job on campus, with no word back yet. If I were offered the job, I would have to do somewhat of a feasibility analysis to make sure I could get the required attendant care. Also in the mix is the idea of getting a Ph.D. If I work on campus, I can take six tuition-free hours a semester. That’s not a bad deal.

The only problem in my plan to stay on campus (actually it may be one of several) is that, at its core is the assumption that I would be offered the Web Content Producer job. So right now, I feel like everything is on hold. I imagine what will happen is that I won’t hear anything back for a while, and I’ll have to make a decision with incomplete information.

Thinking about it now, I guess there is a third option. There’s always the off chance that Vocational Rehabilitation would pay for me to get a PhD. I’m not really sure why, the taxpayers of Mississippi have already invested a lot in me. I almost can’t stomach requesting for even more.

To add to the uncertainty, I have a friend who uses a power wheelchair and has been trying to get into an accessible apartment for a while now. She has more or less been waiting for me to graduate. She jokes about me needing to go ahead and graduate and not stay around, but I’m not afraid of her evicting me any time soon. But I don’t think that I can live in this apartment unless I knew that she would be able to get another accessible apartment. Of course, I don’t know at this moment if I’m even going to be in this apartment on campus. Unless I’m a student, I must live off-campus (I think).

So this is the craziness that I am facing right now. It’s a free-for-all battle between my hopes, my wants, my potential, my opportunities, my disability, bureaucracy, and reality.