Schopenhauer's philosophy begins with a metaphysical structure he inherited from Kant and more or less simply decrees. There is a difference between the thing-in-itself and the phenomenal world of appearances. The thing-in-itself is the will to live, or, more simply, the will. It is the fundamental power and reality that underlies all things. The world we know and live in, with its stupendous abundance of things and forms, is merely the phenomena of the will, the objectification of it, its mirror, something not entirely real, or not real at all. (There is also a pure, will-less subject of knowledge whose metaphysical status is unclear: sometimes it seems to be in the very realm of the will, the realm of true reality, of things-in-themselves; at other times it seems to be something like the first creation and objectification of the will.)
After two years, I applied to Saint Joseph’s University. I had all intentions of becoming a undergraduate student that lived on campus and got involved in every way possible. When I was not approved for private loans without a cosigner, that dream quickly fizzled out. I made the decision to drive the 15-miles to campus each day. While I wanted to quit my job and put everything I had into my education, that just wouldn’t be a possibility. I could not and would not in good conscious leave my mom with a $ tuition bill each month. I continued to work 20-30 hours each week to help lessen my mother’s financial burden.