To Go or Not to Go…to Grad School

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It has been two years since I graduated college with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a minor in Creative Writing. This is most certainly not a long time, but it honestly kind of feels like forever. I’ve had all this time without coursework, exams, papers, and forum discussions. Now, most people are perfectly happy graduating and letting all of this go–and I can’t exactly say that I truly ‘miss’ any of it–but recently I have been thinking about my education, and about what it would mean for me to go to grad school.

After graduation, I worked at the college that I graduated from. I was a part-time employee in the External Affairs office, and I loved it. I was surrounded by professionals who took pride in the school and wanted to promote the opportunities for education that came from it. This also meant that many of them were passionate about continuing education, and it seemed that everyone always had the same question for me: Are you going to grad school? In the six months or so following my graduation, I was certain that I did not want to. I had spent so much money on my undergraduate degree, and I was ready to not have schoolwork to do every single night again. I just did not have the desire to continue my schooling at that time.

My position in that office was temporary, and once I left and moved on to different jobs, I really missed the campus atmosphere. I missed being surrounded by people who were learning and working toward educational success. I loved the environment of my small college campus, and I actually found myself thinking about what it would be like to go back.

All of that has led me to start considering grad school. I want my career to be centered somehow on writing, to be passionate about what I am doing every day. I understand that not everyone ends up being this big successful author, but no matter what I am doing, I want to be writing in some capacity. I learned so much while getting my undergraduate degree, but I feel like there are so many more classes I could take and things I could learn about the craft. I want to know everything I can about writing, the publishing industry, and the arts as a whole.

I also miss the aspect of learning in a classroom. I have always done fairly well in school, especially in English, Literature, and Writing courses. I enjoy learning from people who have spent most of their lives honing their skills and craft, especially when they are genuinely excited about it and want to see you succeed (which was the case with almost all of my incredible professors in college). I love the idea of being back in that atmosphere with others who are walking the same path and have the same passions and interests.

On the other hand, I understand what it would mean to take this leap. For one thing, I am now working full time. Balancing schoolwork and a job is a lot of responsibility, and while I feel that I would be able to find a way to handle it, it is still a lot to deal with. And the biggest thing is, of course, the cost. I’m sure everyone is aware that college is not cheap in any way. Working full time is obviously helpful in that aspect, but it is still a major financial commitment. You’re obviously investing in something very important and significant for your future, but nonetheless, it is a lot to pay for. These are just some of the cons to going grad school, and they continue to loom over my head every time I consider it.

So at this point, I don’t have any solid plans to head to grad school. It is something that is in the back of my mind, but for now, I am doing my own research, learning about my craft through my own practice. I am working on this blog and reading articles from others, putting in the work to become more knowledgeable. While I may soon start seriously preparing for grad school, right now I will focus on learning from the world of writing around me. And that’s probably the best school to be in at the moment.

-Chelsy

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