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I thought it might be a good idea to start this thread as a place to share concerns and vent frustrations related to being a composer and working in the arts. I'm going to start by responding to this thread, which was veering off topic: http://forum.youngco...on/page__st__10 CO, I understand that struggle between goals/dreams and necessities as well. I'm starting to feel like continuing my education in a PhD program is a bad idea. I applied to five programs, was accepted into one, and I was offered zero financial aid. I accepted the offer of admission because it's a public school and much cheaper than most. I'm about to move into Manhattan so that I can be within twenty minutes of my school (I spent the last two years living in a a place where I couldn't have guests and traveling an hour and a half, one way, to get to school, so it's time for a change) and, as you know, this is not cheap. I'm very fortunate to be able work from home as a sheet music engraver. I can essentially work as much as I want and I'm trying really hard to pay for school without taking out more loans (I'm already over $30,000 in debt from undergrad and a master's program), but I don't think I'm going to be able to manage. In order to live in Manhattan, pay for loans, pay for school, and eat I need to work nearly full-time WHILE attending school. I am not looking forward to this upcoming year, in which I'll have to probably put friendships and new relationships on hold. I'm making music my life but I wonder if I'm going to end up feeling resentful and like I wasted my twenties. The thing is with my job I could just walk away from it all and live nearly anywhere in the U.S. I want, have extra money to travel, and actually live a life where I could set music aside at night and spend time with friends or pursuing other hobbies. The catch would be nearly giving up composing or teaching as a career, or coming back to it after years of paying off debt and saving money, by which point I might have a family to think about.