(Laughs) I'm sorry. I spent eight, yes eight, years pursuing my undergrad. Why? I went to three colleges, and switched my major five times before settling into one I actually liked, on both accounts. I graduated with my Bachelors in May of 2012, and by March of the next year (this year), I enrolled in my first set of Grad classes. I decided on going back, because I loved going to school, and it was the perfect solution to keep my student loan sharks off my ass for another year.
I chose my program in part because it's online. With a three year old and a part-time job, I seriously didn't have the time to sit in a class room a couple days a week. In my program, you take two classes every eight weeks for a year, with breaks at the end of the Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters. (Which means, I will have taken four Grad classes this Fall)
But, in all honesty, I am exhausted. I
love really like my program, but I am double concentrating (kinda like double majoring) and it's a lot of work. But hey, that's grad school for you. It's sucks.
Granted I am no expert, and I am only talking for experience, but I have decided to compile a list of things to consider when you are considering going to Grad School. (I actually wish someone would have told me these things)
1. Have an end goal in mind.
-Ask yourself: What am I going to do with this degree? Because if you are going to spend another 1-3 years in Grad school and rack up some more student loan debt, then you better know what you want to do with that degree afterwards. Working the night shift at McDonalds ain't gonna pay those student payments, just sayin.
-Another factor to consider? Ask yourself if you have a passion for your degree. If you do, you will know what you are putting yourself through hell for.
2. Do your research.
- There are several colleges out there that offer a variety of programs: you can take classes online, you can take them face to face, you can take them at night, you can take them during the day, etc. But, the main thing to consider: what are the program requirements? Some programs require you to take the GRE (like the SAT for Grad school) and some don't. Some programs require you to do an internship as part of the required course.
3. Are you a procrastinator?
- If you have just answered "yes" in any shape or form, then Grad school is not for you- trust me. Sure, you can try it, and promise yourself that those "I still have time... and then pulling an all nighter" tendencies will soon dissipate, but, I can tell you from experience- Stop lying to yourself, because they won't, because they will get worse, and you will hate yourself every time it happens. (Like me)
4. Do you have the time?
- This question goes hand-in-hand with question #2. Do you have a job? Kids? Other commitments? Do you have the needed support? Grad school is a lot of work and sometimes you will hate yourself, but if you "keep your head in the game" then you will be great.
Please note: I am just a plain Jane (well, Tabitha) from Northwest Indiana standing on my soapbox (in the form of a blog), and I am in no way trying to discourage ANYONE from pursuing Grad School.