I've just finished my first year studying jazz at Capilano University, and I was planning to stick it through the 4 or 5 straight years it would take to get my bachelor's. However, I've received an offer from my friend to audition for a cruise ship gig that would start in September. I have no idea how to feel about this. On one hand, I think that going on the cruise would be great for gaining experience in the real world, and I'm sure constantly performing will help my playing for miles. Alot of my teachers talk about how the best way to learn your tunes and your instrument is just by playing it in those situations, where you have to apply it to the real world as opposed to a test in a classroom. In fact, I know one teacher that never went to college and got his chops from playing on cruise ships. On the other hand, to temporarily put my studies on hold in order to work has it's re precautions as well. If this were the end of my 2nd year, it would be a totally different situation. I feel that right now I am in the middle of the most vital part of my education at Capilano, and I'm worried I could possible "stunt" my education by leaving for a year. I feel like If I had a little more education and experience, I would be able to get a whole lot more out of the cruise ship than I would now. I also really enjoy being with my classmates, and it would be depressing to come back after a year and have them all be a year ahead of me. Another factor is my health. I have been dealing with tendinitis all throughout the year, and I have had to take a month off at the beginning of summer to give it some time to heal. I have no idea what it's going to be like in September, I hope that I will be good to play, but what happens if I do get on the cruise ship and I get injured again? As you can tell, I'm having a tough time deciding what to do. I know I haven't even started the audition process, but If I tell my friend yes that means I've made a deal with her to be her bass player, and the thought of me telling her that I changed my mind after we've recorded and sent the tape in OR even after (hypothetically) get accepted doesn't sound too good on my part. I don't want to be the person that flakes out, I've already had to do it to others from tendinitis and one of the guys did not take it too lightly. so please, any opinions or thoughts in this matter? anything helps. Thanks.