Congratulations. You’ve made it to your graduation after all of your hard work. It starts to sound like a sorry tune after a while, but you can’t get enough of it. It’s been the day that you’ve been looking forward to and/or completely dreading. You’re stepping into a big new world of opportunities, but somehow you feel like you’ll miss that routine of school.
Should you go to grad school? Is it even worth your time? Most of us have the choice of being able to return to school, but the question lies in whether or not you’d sincerely think it’s a good idea.
An elderly professor once spoke to my class about how grad school is something you should really want to do, otherwise you’ll end up hating it. Although he may have been trying to scare us, he did bring up a good point. Grad school isn’t for everyone and should really be thought through. I know it may seem like the easier decision to make when deciding on your future endeavors, but it’s not meant to be your next step if you’ve got nothing else to do.
Grad school is much more work than college and requires a lot more time and patience from the student. If you have to end up being a TA, would you really be ready to handle a bunch of kids straight from high school graduation?
It may be a fun new experience for you, but you can also do many other things in those two years that you would’ve spent in grad school. I know this depends on your major, but going out and seeing the world can be a much better option and you can stumble across opportunities on the way. Taking in new cultures can make you a more well-rounded person and it looks great on a resume. It’s not often that you’ll get the chance to travel without obligations like a career.
Try not to think of grad school as something that you can use to put off planning for your career. At that point you’re just prolonging the inevitable. Not only will you have a Master’s degree, but way more debt than you had when you started. Back to square one.
If you think that grad school will help your career in the long run, then go for it. You’ve got to have that passion for learning that you had when you first discovered your major. If you never really cared about your major and did it just to do it, then the extra work you’ll be putting in won’t be as rewarding.
With grad school, you’ve got the potential to learn something completely different in your field. Building towards your thesis is like one long research paper, but this is something you cannot put off. It’s a continuous process but you’ll get the chance to network with some great professors and other like-minded colleagues.
Networking with professors could give you a huge boost in finding a career, but then again it all depends on what field you’re in. Letters of recommendation will always be a huge help, so be extra nice to those professors that already liked you. You’ll need those letters to get into the school you want.
Don’t just go to the closest grad school either, do some research and see what’s financially and academically viable. The best school for you may be in Iowa, but it may cost you a little too much to move up there. Take advantage of the friends you’ve got living around the country, a nice visit could show you what kind of town you could be living in. You don’t want to end up in a town with zero places to go to.
Grad school can be a great opportunity if you really work for it. You get to meet great new people, further your studies, and start to become a true scholar. Even if you want to go to grad school but feel burnt out, you can always wait a year or two. The GRE will be a little more difficult as time goes by, but you can see what it’s like to have a free schedule without school. It’s a lot weirder than you think.