Sorry for the silence on this end.
I'm getting to the point in my life where I have to seize adulthood, independence, etc. I also have to get used to writing for different reasons. No longer am I simply writing essays for classes, stories and poems for myself. Now I'm writing to convince people to give me money, accept me into programs, buy my creative writing.
Application essays, query letters: they're a different skill set. It's a balance between informative and interesting. Between confidence and cockiness. No little artistic flourishes such as stand-alone phrases allowed (see previous sentence fragment). Suddenly I'm a slave to the basic rules of punctuation and grammar. They're no longer gentle guidelines I can bend for emphasis or fun. My bad habits (I tend to overuse commas) are glaring errors that need immediate attention.
Writing a novel is not the same as writing a query. Receiving an English degree doesn't mean anyone's going to pay you to use it.
The big dream would be for me to spend next year working/studying abroad. By the end of that year I would hope to have something in the works for getting my novel published.
The big dream is to live by my pen. Not grandly, but just enough to take care of myself.