My internal monologue is in a fight with itself.
It can’t decide whether or not it wants to pursue grad school.
It’s been thinking about it ever since it was in college.
It has always thought this was the path for it.
It now has its doubts.
Now that I’ve exhausted my need to talk in the third/odd person, I’ll get real. Academics have always been an integral part of who I am. If I wasn’t making a ridiculously intense study guide for a test that only counted for 5% of my grade, I was overachieving on a PowerPoint presentation with just the right amount of bells and whistles. CSOM at the University of Minnesota requires that you work for two years in a real, big-girl (or guy) position before attempting graduate school. Naturally, my path was going to be to graduate, work for two years, then apply for graduate school. I even was going to take my GMAT and apply early to ensure that I would begin class at the start of the end of my two years of working. Wrong.
It has now officially been two years and a month since I began working in my big-girl job. And while I still have the GMAT in the back of my mind, the test preparation book is collecting dust on my bookshelf that is crowded with materials I actually want to read.
I’ve been looking a lot to the people who surround me for inspiration or motivation in one direction or another.
Two of my best friends are in the psychology field, so basically grad school is already on their life plate. I think this has slightly influenced me. If my friends are going to be so highly educated, maybe I should be too.
Another friend who studied himself crazy for the LSAT for months decided that he actually didn’t want to take it, nor did he want to be a lawyer at all. Then, he moved to Taiwan to study Chinese.
Yet another friend went to grad school and now cannot find a job.
Then I have all my friends who are happily working and would not go back to school even if they were paid to.
The pros are:
Learning from professionals with work experience
Meeting new people who have similar interests
Challenging myself to balance work and school
Having the opportunity to study abroad again (a month at most)
The cons are:
Paying ridiculous amounts for tuition
Buying books and other materials
Driving at least an extra hour each day
Paying for parking
Only being able to do it part time
Balancing work and school
Reducing the size of my paycheck by at least fifty percent
Studying, taking tests, writing papers, doing homework, giving speeches, writing dissertations…
Anyway, some of the things on the cons list are petty, but the fact that I routinely list them as cons probably means that I’m trying to make the cons seem more intense so that I can justify not going to school. Part of me feels like a failure for admitting that I’m not going to have more than an undergraduate degree. The other part says, "who cares?"
I feel a teeny bit excited to finally put this to rest and pursue other things I am passionate about. I’m currently working on a project that has taken up a lot of my time, but because I think the research is fascinating, I know it is important to me. [More on this later].
Is there anything in life you wish you did, but didn’t? Is there something your internal monologue is arguing about?