View Poll Results: Stay or go? (Recontract for a second year or not?)

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Thread: Wakatta Asks the Peanut Gallery

  1. #1

    Default Wakatta Asks the Peanut Gallery

    Digital space is cheap, so.

    I'm 24. I'll be 25 this year. I worked for a year and a half before JET, and I'll have been here for another year and a half in August. My plan is to go to law school after this.

    Do I stay (recontract) or go (not recontract)?

    I have a kickass placement. It's a lot of fun! I feel like I'm having a positive impact. My Japanese is like intermediate right now, and I'd like to get fluent. I'm so-so on law school: it's the only reasonable career choice I see, and I think it could lead to interesting and worthwhile things. I have a few acceptances already, and hope I get more; they're good schools. I might be able to get a deferral for a year. I think the BoE and schools here like me; they'd probably prefer I recontracted. (?) I also heard that apparently they kind of "expect" people to go a second year. But I don't think they'd be all that sad or inconvenienced if I left.

    The real question is: is it okay to wait ... 4 years after graduation to get a move on one's real career? Is 3 already too much?

    Obviously, it's a personal choice, but I'd be curious to hear people's random thoughts. I can't give you a penny, but if you ask, I'll give you a funny lolcat for your vote.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wakatta Asks the Peanut Gallery

    Don't worry about what other people think is acceptable or not. If you are happy here then stay another year if you aren't then go to law school. one year at this stage in your life won't make much of a difference one way or another. I don't think it "looks bad" to stay here for several years if you are happy and doing what you want. It is still a great experience that many people will wish they had when you are in law school

  3. #3
    Delicious...and moist! kiwimusume's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wakatta Asks the Peanut Gallery

    Flip a coin? :P
    Quote Originally Posted by goloons View Post
    My favorite student just tried to BITE MY NIPPLE.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coollead View Post
    Yeah, it's really good stuff. For some reason, they bound it as a book, instead of on a roll. There's 190 pages, which is probably good for at least a few dozen shits.

  4. #4
    Resident ewok wicket's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wakatta Asks the Peanut Gallery

    Stay. A year is nothing in the grand scheme of things.
    Now can I have my lol cat? Something law-school related would be good.
    "Like anyone with a sliver of honesty in them I believe what I find I believe when I wake up each morning."
    Stephen Fry, The stars' tennis balls

  5. #5
    Senior Member reed's Avatar
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    If you're fretting over your age at 24, it's just going to get worse. You're going to hate yourself at 26 if you feel you haven't "moved ahead", and no matter the circumstances, you'll get no sympathy from anyone age 27 and up. Think of how silly it sounds when a 19-year-old complains to you that she's getting too old to start her real career, or the part-time high school kid who openly gripes to managers and coworkers that he's waiting too long to do... whatever it was we used to care about in high school. You're a toddler in the work world! Not only that, you're worried that you're losing ground in terms of college! College never goes out of business! When you get to law school do you think you'll be the oldest kid in class?

    We either make it or we don't in life, but human nature is to evaluate whether we're making it in life THIS MOMENT -- and to believe that all our choices are right when we're doing well, and by all measures you're doing well. It's great to be ambitious, but later when you're having a bad month at law school or a bad year trying to get into a firm, or perhaps finding no job in your field at all, you'll be doing the other thing, feeling like you gave up something better. Assuming the worst, leave now and you're denied reapplication for a decade, and what does THAT say about your career if in 2018 you're considering JET again.

    Stay.
    Last edited by reed; February 1st, 2009 at 05:46.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wicket View Post
    Stay. A year is nothing in the grand scheme of things.
    Now can I have my lol cat? Something law-school related would be good.
    Okay! Sure.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Wakatta Asks the Peanut Gallery

    I'm surprised to hear so many "stays". I got much the same reply from friends on Facebook.

    I guess the big question is whether or not I can get a deferral from the schools that have accepted me. But I'm now I'm seriously considering recontracting.

    It's kind of a "choosing between two good things" sort of affair.

    I mean, yeah, I'd love to be back in the US. But Japan could also be fun. It's pretty nice having a job this easy! On the other hand, there's something to be said for not kicking back too much.

    Man, I don't know. I'll have to think about this some more. I guess I'll write to the schools I've heard back from and see what they're thinking in terms of if I could get a deferral or not.
    Last edited by Wakatta; February 1st, 2009 at 13:25.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Yeti99's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wakatta Asks the Peanut Gallery

    Just to clarify, were you accepted to law school, and deferred it for JET? Or are you just planning on applying to law school?
    Mark it zero!

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti99 View Post
    Just to clarify, were you accepted to law school, and deferred it for JET? Or are you just planning on applying to law school?
    I've been accepted to a couple law schools. I haven't yet asked for or been granted deferral yet. I'm going to do that this Tuesday Japan-time. A great deal of my angst comes from the fact that I'm not too hopeful that I'll get a deferral: at least not at both of the schools I've currently heard from (Michigan and Northwestern -- Michigan at the very least is probably going to say "no"). In which case: do I lose my top pick for law school? Do I re-apply? (the latter is a particularly dread prospect in my mind.) I dunno.

    It's kind of stupid, because law schools almost always grant Peace Corps deferrals. But my friend who's doing the Peace Corps says that her job is basically identical to an ALTs: she sits behind a desk doing -nothing- all day. Actually, I think the average ALT does more useful stuff and provides more irreplaceable services.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Yeti99's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wakatta Asks the Peanut Gallery

    Those are some pretty good schools! Congrats to you. If it means losing your top pick, I would drop JET in a heartbeat and go to school. If they do grant deferral, stay on JET, study your J-go, take advantage of the crazy exchange rate to send buckets of yen home, and enjoy your last year of playtime before life starts kicking you in the ass.
    Mark it zero!

  11. #11
    Resident ewok wicket's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wakatta Asks the Peanut Gallery

    Thanks for my LOL cat - he was purrfect.
    I honestly think whichever way you go you can be happy with the decision, so just make it and don't look back wondering what might have been.

    And Reed - there are worse things you can do than take a break from your career to have a second bite at the JET cherry. Best thing I ever did in terms of renewing my enthusiasm for real teaching, plus getting to spend a ton more time with my husband and make some more friends.
    "Like anyone with a sliver of honesty in them I believe what I find I believe when I wake up each morning."
    Stephen Fry, The stars' tennis balls

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti99 View Post
    Those are some pretty good schools! Congrats to you. If it means losing your top pick, I would drop JET in a heartbeat and go to school. If they do grant deferral, stay on JET, study your J-go, take advantage of the crazy exchange rate to send buckets of yen home, and enjoy your last year of playtime before life starts kicking you in the ass.
    Thanks! That's the direction I've been leaning. One thing that makes it tricky is that I'm not wildly in favor of Michigan over Northwestern...they're ranked equally, and while each have things in their favor (and truth be told I like Michigan a bit better), I'm sure I'd be happy at either.

    Quote Originally Posted by wicket View Post
    Thanks for my LOL cat - he was purrfect.
    I honestly think whichever way you go you can be happy with the decision, so just make it and don't look back wondering what might have been.
    Wicket is wise! That is a very good point, and one I will keep in mind.

  13. #13
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    wow! congrats on your acceptances! :]

    I think it's only reckless to stay if you have no idea what you want to do. (like me... oops.) you've obviously got your act together. although I don't know what re-application processes are like, it seems like you're an intelligent person who won't have a difficult time, especially not the second time around. good luck with whatever you decide!
    and when the night is cloudy
    there is still a light that shines on me
    shine on until tomorrow
    let it be

  14. #14

    Default Re: Wakatta Asks the Peanut Gallery

    Update: Michigan granted my deferral. Gah! My prelaw advisor thinks I should really get going, but admitted it'd probably be okay to do another year.

    Myself, I'm now tilting towards leaving. I think 6 months might be enough to get at least some okay Japanese skills, which I could polish on the side at Michigan. It's true the difference between graduating law school at 28 vs. 29 isn't -that- great, but ... eh ... it's hard to say if I really want another year and a half of JET. Law school could be really exciting in that I've been itching to go back to studying for a while now. There's also an outside possibility that Berkeley will accept me, and I really doubt they'd give me a deferral.

    Wicket's right, of course, that either way is fine, but...man. Not an easy decision coming up tomorrow.

  15. #15
    Delicious...and moist! kiwimusume's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wakatta Asks the Peanut Gallery

    So what'd you do in the end?
    Quote Originally Posted by goloons View Post
    My favorite student just tried to BITE MY NIPPLE.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coollead View Post
    Yeah, it's really good stuff. For some reason, they bound it as a book, instead of on a roll. There's 190 pages, which is probably good for at least a few dozen shits.

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwimusume View Post
    So what'd you do in the end?
    I agonized over it for a while. I had a sinking feeling that I was never going to be sure. But eventually, I think I figured it out. I actually didn't sign the paper today (they're having us sign on Monday for some reason? didn't really ask details), but I know what I'm going to say. I am, regretfully, leaving Japan this August. It's true that it's an awesome placement, but I feel really restless, and I want to get going on what will probably be my career. I like it here, but even now I can feel myself getting sort of tired of it in some respects. I'm now pretty certain that, yeah, it's time to head back. Sure, it's cushy and mostly fun, and I feel like I'm doing something useful, but that in itself is not in my mind enough. If I stayed, I think I'd be really regretting it in six months or a year. So instead, I'm just going to absolutely attack J-Go for the next five months, and make the most of my time here, then go and get moving on law school.

    tl;dr version: To use Dombay's wise analogy, I don't want to live on the moon.

    Thanks for all the advice, though, everyone! It really helped me figure this out.

  17. #17
    Reticulating Splines oip's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by reed View Post
    If you're fretting over your age at 24, it's just going to get worse. You're going to hate yourself at 26 if you feel you haven't "moved ahead", and no matter the circumstances, you'll get no sympathy from anyone age 27 and up. Think of how silly it sounds when a 19-year-old complains to you that she's getting too old to start her real career, or the part-time high school kid who openly gripes to managers and coworkers that he's waiting too long to do... whatever it was we used to care about in high school. You're a toddler in the work world! Not only that, you're worried that you're losing ground in terms of college! College never goes out of business! When you get to law school do you think you'll be the oldest kid in class?

    We either make it or we don't in life, but human nature is to evaluate whether we're making it in life THIS MOMENT -- and to believe that all our choices are right when we're doing well, and by all measures you're doing well. It's great to be ambitious, but later when you're having a bad month at law school or a bad year trying to get into a firm, or perhaps finding no job in your field at all, you'll be doing the other thing, feeling like you gave up something better. Assuming the worst, leave now and you're denied reapplication for a decade, and what does THAT say about your career if in 2018 you're considering JET again.

    Stay.
    100% correct. When I went to grad school to get an MS/MBA in Television Management I thought I'd be old. Let me tell you how there are 3 categories of people going to business school.

    1) Older, experienced people who want to improve their careers. Often they are subsidized by their jobs. 20%
    2) 23-28 year old children of rich parents who have little real work experience and no life experience. Many of them buy their way in from foreign countries. 55%
    3) Younger professionals with some work experience who are trying to skip a chunk of the corporate climb. They take out massive loans to get there. 25%

    I happen to fall into category 3. The majority of the ones who fall into category 2 are going to be low level managers or worse because they don't have the character to excel. Character is developed through experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roving_gypsy_gurl View Post
    all the tots want to do is dig a hole, show me the hole, and then fill the hole in again.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Wakatta Asks the Peanut Gallery

    Nah, I'm pretty sure leaving is the right move for me.

    If you're implying that I'm "2", I respectfully disagree. If I were going into business, sure, that might be more accurate, but law works a little differently, in my view: you can't really start doing law until you have a JD.

  19. #19
    WINNING Fyrey's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wakatta View Post
    I'm surprised to hear so many "stays". I got much the same reply from friends on Facebook.
    Maybe your friends don't want you back?

    Condescension aside, if I may add my thoughts, I would be inclined to stay.

    Where you are now is a really good place, not just relative to other JETs, but people your age as a whole. A year makes pretty much no difference in terms of your career progression and more likely than not this particular grind will seem much like a holiday once you start work proper with real responsibility.

    I don't think anyone really enjoys JET until their second year. Everything is so new and the learning curve steep but enjoyable. It's only when you start repeating experiences that they become tiresome and that will only happen in your second year, but by that time you tend have a much better feel for where you are not only in terms of Japan, but career too.

    In your situation, if I had a confirmed deferral then I would stay the second year and enjoy the luxury of another year in Japan with good money and the added bonus of knowing where I am going after JET is finished.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Wakatta Asks the Peanut Gallery

    I've certainly enjoyed JET, but I just really feel it's time to get a move on. Sure, it's cushy, but I'm also pretty restless. Another 5 months will be plenty for me, I think. I might well be going crazy after a year and a half.

    If it helps, another mitigating factor is that while one school (Michigan) offered me a deferral, I still haven't heard from some other schools. Including Berkeley, which is my dream school. I'm not expecting an acceptance there, but if they did give me one, I would hate to already be committed to a year in Japan.

    And while I get a more or less mixed (about fifty fifty, all together?) response from this forum/a law school forum/Facebook, parents and professors are strongly on the "get on with it" side. And, perhaps most importantly, I really feel myself that while this is a fun vacation, I want to get back to learning stuff and working on the sorts of things I'm aiming to work on as a career. Not that I'm some hard-nosed businessy type, by any means, but while being an English monkey is fun, I want to get started on law.

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