One of the hardest decisions a recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree must face is whether or not to immediately apply to graduate school. Some of us have no reservations, as we either thrive in academic settings or must return to school for professional reasons.
But, what about the rest of us? Those of us who are aware that graduate school is likely in our eventual futures, but aren’t sure whether or not we are quite ready to make such a large financial and time-consuming commitment?
Truthfully, 20 years ago, fewer people went back to graduate school, claiming that the real world taught them valuable lessons that weren’t available in classroom syllabi.
Here are some reasons you might want to consider putting off graduate school for a little longer if you find yourself reluctant to return:
1. Life is a living experience.
This isn’t to say that what you learn within the confines of a classroom setting isn’t important. In fact, what we learn in school is often directly applicable to what we experience in our own lives.
The information we gain from our teachers and what we discover on our own time helps us to better understand the world.
However, there are some life lessons that you simply won’t learn from burying your nose in Shakespeare or your assigned reading. Giving yourself the chance to learn in some of these settings can help to make you a more well-rounded, worldly person.
2. Save some cash.
Let’s face it: School is expensive. Your financial situation will be a huge influence on your decision of when to go back to school, if at all. But, finding yourself in a financial position that you simply can't afford is a reality that many of us face.
It might be easy to think about the money you could potentially spend on schooling and the fact that it could be going to something else, toward something that you might really want.
3. No guaranteed job offer.
Even if you do immediately head to grad school, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will land a solid career as soon as you graduate.
In fact, many of us realize that upon receiving a graduate degree, we're in the same spot as we were right after finishing our undergraduate degrees, which couldn't be more frustrating after having funneled so many extra dollars into continuing education.
If you are already on the fence about whether or not to make the grad school commitment, this can be a deal-breaker.
4. Where do you want to live?
It might not seem like a huge accomplishment to be admitted into a school that you were pining over, but the truth is that when you make the choice of where you want to go, you are usually locked in to the location for several years.
Forget being able to take a week to take a Bora Bora vacation if you want to because missing classes in graduate school is a much bigger deal than it was in undergraduate.
If you have a serious case of wanderlust, this can be a serious issue. If you aren’t ready to commit to living in a certain place, you might want to reconsider submitting some of your applications.
5. You are only young once.
This seems like more of an excuse among members of our generation nowadays, but there is some truth to it. If you feel like you have spent enough time in a classroom for the time being, you probably should not be purchasing a brand new set of textbooks.
There are so many opportunities for Generation-Yers and to shirk some of them because you feel like grad school is the “right” or “correct” option can end up leaving you feeling like you missed out on some of the best years of your life.
The one thing to keep in mind is that graduate school will always be there. There will always be a program that will interest you and will further your career. Instead of rushing into something that you might regret, take a moment or two or two hundred to reflect before deciding whether or not it might be right for you right now.
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