To be perfectly honest, I was admittied into my Masters program with zero funding. In retrospect, starting a two year+ project with no guaranteed income wasn’t the greatest idea, for a variety of reasons.
First, every semester I hope/pray to get a Graduate Teaching Assistant job, which luckily gets easier and easier as I accumulate “seniority points.”
Second, no funding means no specified project, which means freedom to choose any research topic I please, as long as my (very lenient/forgiving) advisor is OK with it. Well, it’s been about eight months since I’ve come back from India all ready to start researching, and only two days ago did I actually settle on a topic.
Eight months is a long time to pay tuition, and follow dead ends with literature reviews. Also, those months are expensive if you waste your time on partying, girls, video games, Union involvement, student government, keggers, new housemates, motorcycles, trips to Mississippi, Vancouver, Ottawa, and so on. Well .. maybe it wasn’t a complete waste, per se
Finally, I’ve settled on a topic that I’m truly interested in.