Recently, I’ve heard a lot of discussion about graduate school around campus. I know I’m in my third year at Denison, but I haven’t really thought about the possibility of continuing on with my education in grad school much before. Maybe this column is a good place to start.
I feel like it’s becoming more and more common nowadays that students are continuing on with their educational careers in grad school, med school, law school, etc. Growing up, I never really considered grad school and didn’t think it was the right fit for me, but with the recent talk amongst my friends and professors, it seems like a popular option that should be seriously considered.
My two older sisters just completed their graduate studies programs, one from the University of Minnesota and the other from Carnegie Mellon. My one sister was born to learn, so it didn’t surprise me when she decided to go to grad school. My other sister was a different story, as I didn’t think she would ever go. This has made me start to more seriously consider grad school for myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel so lucky to be at Denison and love learning, but is grad school a place where I could see myself going and actually be happy?
For starters, I feel like grad school is a place where you need to have a solid grasp of the career path that you want to take. My two sisters knew what their passions were and what specific subject they wanted to study more of, whereas I’m a junior and still don’t really have a clue if the path I’m on is the right one for me.
Also, the specific subjects that both of my sisters studied still could be narrowed down. The world has an expansive variety of topics, subtopics, subtopics of subtopics and so on. As a communication and East Asian studies double major, I’m now more than ever unsure what specific areas interest me most.
Secondly, I already have a heap of student debt to pay off. My mom always tells me, “It’ll be worth it Case. It may seem like a lot now, but it will all be worth it.”
Is grad school worth the tens of thousands of dollars of debt that I would be getting myself into? Sure, scholarships exist, but are my chances really that great in landing one?
Third, from what I hear, getting into grad school seems to be an extremely competitive process. I feel like I’ve written hundreds of essays and spent countless hours completing forms about myself. “What makes you different?” “What are your passions?” “How are you going to make a difference?” Even if I decide to apply, what are my chances of getting in?
I know I have time to weigh my options, but recently, it feels like time is flying. I’m already over halfway through my time at Denison, so I need to start seriously thinking about my post-grad options.
The future is unpredictable. Who knows where I’ll be this time tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. For now, I’m just fine with learning on the Hill, but I guess we’ll see what my future self decides soon.