Figuring Out a Direction

Since I graduated from college, I have been trying to figure out what my next move is.  Here's what I have so far:

  1. Get a job (or two if you can)
  2. Keep writing - do an internship
  3. Pay off loans
  4. Grad school

Steps 1 to 3 are easy - I mean that in the most shallow sense.  The direction is clear and I know what  I need to do and that is to apply to any paying job and save, while getting real-life writing experience on the side.  I've procured some work in the fall, and am loving my internship with Noozhawk.

However, step four is giving me all kinds of trouble.

I have been seriously contemplating continuing my education beyond college since my junior year, when my parents convinced me that law school would be a good fit for me because of my good reading and writing skills.

Since I started taking Creative Writing at USD, I had thought about getting an MFA in Creative Writing and, more recently, I have contemplated an Master's degree in Journalsim or Ethnic Studies (or something similar).

Whenever I pitch these latter options to my parents, they always direct me back to law school, and I am always defensive because I don't particularly want to be a lawyer.

I know that you don't have to go to law school and then become a lawyer, but isn't that what you would usually do?   Wouldn't the payoff of going to law school be to become a lawyer?  Isn't it more fiscally responsible?  I've expressed the desire to become a journalist or publisher before - will law school get me there?  Will law school get me what I want, if I do not want to be a lawyer?

I keep wrestling with these questions and the answer I always get is always this: law school would give me the best chance to be whatever I wanted to be.  Not only would I learn about extremely important social and legal systems within our society, but I'd be able to become a better thinker and do-er.

I keep thinking that my parents and grandparents are excited about my consideration of law school because it makes me sound impressive, but the real reason is that it ensures a lifestyle of success for me.  It doesn't really guarantee anything, but it is definitely more stable than a Masters in a humanities subject.

So, I guess the ultimate question is this: What am I looking for?  Do  I want stability?  Will law school help me have a future in which I am happy with my career?  I have some sort of idea of what the answer may be, but nothing concrete and nothing close to Step Four.