Unlike many others I know, I did not attend grad school post undergrad. Hell I didn’t even consider submitting an application! I knew I wanted a college degree and was on my way to receiving my Bachelor’s so in my mind I was already on track with my goals. But as I mentioned on my “grad school” page, things changed and I decided perhaps it would be best for me to go for my Master’s degree after all. But that was easier said than done. There were quite a few things that had me debating if 1. I really wanted to go through with this & 2. If I can actually pull this off. Check out the top 3 things that made me reconsider grad school!
If this isn’t the first thing on your mind then kudos to you- you must be rich! (lol I kid) Unfortunately, I didn’t have it like that (and still don’t!) so tuition was the first thing I had to consider. How am I going to pay for all this? If I take out a loan, how long do I have to pay all this off? Am I going to have to get another job? Can I even handle working multiple jobs and maintaining a 3.5 GPA to remain in this program?
Solution: I did my research first. I looked for schools in New York City that had my program, checked out how long the program would last for (not all master’s programs are 2 years), then totaled the tuition. I also set a limit for myself. I knew I did not want to be in a program that would cost me more than $20,000 after completion. So that immediately knocked out a few schools (whew!). I then looked into loans through Sallie Mae. Literally spent hours on the phone with representatives asking all kinds of questions. (P.S. Don’t ever feel overwhelmed when doing research on loans. If there’s something you don’t understand and there’s just way too much to read- THEN CALL. Reach out to the provider and ASK AWAY!) This money is going towards your future so you need know as much as possible about the loans your considering, and then make a decision.
See for most of us, when we start college we’re still living at home, parent(s) are probably still taking care of our necessities, we’re not really paying any serious bills, and probably got a little part-time job that we can up and quit at any moment and not be bothered at all by it. Well once you graduate this WILL change- (or in my case) three years after graduation my life definitely changed! I was now working 2 jobs and my schedules balanced off each other, so when was I going to find time to actually attend class? I was now part of 2 organizations, when was I going to find time to attend meetings and fulfill my duties in my respective roles? And I can’t forget relationships! Half of my friends already think I don’t ever have time to hang- so what will they think now? Oh and the guy that I’ve been “kind of/sort of” dating- when will we even get to hang out?
Solution: Whether I work or not isn’t an option at this point in my life. But I knew I was investing in my future and with that comes some serious sacrifices so…. one job had to go (temporarily). As for the other, I had to sit down with the human resources department explain that I was returning to school, expressed my goals and how this would lead to some changes in my availability and how I planned on making up for that loss of time. (Let’s be real some companies could careless about your goals and what you’re doing with your life outside of being their employee. So if you are considering deducting your hours or changing your schedule in any way at least provide a solution- give them something to work with (Ex: if you normally have weekends off, perhaps offer to work 1 weekend out the month). If you’re in any organizations, clubs etc. as I was, you may want to step down in your role- at least until you get everything situated. As for friends, family and significant others- your REAL loved ones will always support you and be understanding of changes you need to make to better your future. As for me, if there was a holiday and I didn’t have class I would dedicate a few hours of my time to my close ones. Whether it’s a phone call, quick lunch or nice outing I made sure to do it during that time. They’ll appreciate this, trust me.
This one is real simple. I kid you not I use to find ANY excuse not to go or even attempt to find out info on returning to school. I would say things like “once I make a few years and get settled in my career then I will go back” and clearly that’s BS because at this point it’s clear the less you have going on the easiest it is to return back to school. I let fear of being rejected from the program allow me to not even apply. When I would see friends who were in grad school post Facebook statuses of how stressed they were I would talk myself out of returning. I procrastinated heavily on my process due to fear of failing. I didn’t want to start and drop out, I didn’t want to be bottom of my class, and I didn’t want to have to quit because I could no longer keep up with loan payments. It sounded cool to tell people I was going to go back to school for a higher degree knowing damn well I had no intent of even applying back…all due to fear.
Solution: GET OVER IT! Whenever asked by someone what are your goals I guarantee you’ll have a lengthy list. Now ask yourself how many of those are you actually working towards and see how short that list is, and I can bet it’s because you’re using every excuse under the sun as to why you can’t. I’m such a victim to this and I reached the point where I had to tell myself stop talking about it and do it. Whatever fears I had my state of mind was just “I’ll cross that bridge when I get there- as for now just do it.”
So those were my top 3! Thank you for reading and please feel free to share below what made you reconsider going to grad school <3