I recently moved 6 hours away from all family and friends (St. Louis to North of Chicago) to take a job teaching art in a high school. I was apprehensive to take the job in the first place but thought that I "needed" it. The School: -Failed AYP for the last 7 years -Has been through 7 principles in the last 6 years -#1 in IL for truancy!!!! -Packed classes at 35 students in a small "art" room -TERRIBLE administration (if you could even call them that (I could throw out specific examples for anyone that thinks that's not as factual as the other points)) -Gang and drug problems daily The Town: -I live downtown where I thought it would be a cool place to live as a hip single male in my mid/late twenties... Not at all. -Large Hispanic population that the Downtown seems to neglect in all of their planning.. (thus the downtown FAILS!) -North Chicago Suburb with not much happening -No close (within 15 minutes) access to anyplace to meet other singles -1 hour to Chicago or Milwaukee -The town is as much of a mess as the school Others: -I've got nobody up here -I don't like to meet people in bars.. but would go to bars with people that I meet -I am into art but there's nothing around -My instinct is to fly.. but I'm signed to a year contract (10 more months to apartment, 8 more months teaching) -I have lost all motivation to do anything beyond trying to help students out/write lesson plans.. So I don't do music, art, exercise.. etc.. -My car isn't dependable enough to drive to the city.. and using the CTA/Metra system would take hours to get to certain places. -I'd like to meet some friends (and a lady friend) but don't really meet people at the school because I'm really just surrounded by students all day. -I'm still recovering (financially) from the move up here.. (I'll probably be good in the next month) -The idea of going back to school for my Masters of Fine Arts is one of the few things keeping me going. WHAT SHOULD I DO??? I'm considering starting some little bulletin boards around my apartment/condo building. I never see the people that live in the building so that may be a start. I'm also thinking about starting a singles club at the school.. Is that silly or what? I just don't know. I feel like I'm going crazy though. I'm losing more people skills as the days continue.. ha. I've just never been this depressed with life before. I thought I'd be doing so much more and I feel like I've made a terrible decision coming up here.