Thursday, November 7, 2013

Twenty-Something Struggle: When to Go to Grad School?

College Fund
Deciding when to go back to school is becoming a common conversation among my twenty-something peers. There are some who continued straight out of undergrad but there are some of us who strayed away and now are considering grad life buttt…when is the right time to go?

There is so much to think about like where do you want to go?, how are you going to afford it?, does your program require a GRE or GMAT? Or the biggest question of them all what do you want to study? So much time, money, preparation and focus is required to make this decision but still some of us are just lost! I’ve heard horror stories of folks just going back just to say they are in school but by mid-semester they are dreaded making an impulsive decision (and dreading the new loan they tagged on). Sigh…
I believe that deciding to go back to school isn’t a “one-size fits all” solution to everyone’s career goal. In some cases, you might find that getting a certificate is all you need to advance yourself in your industry while maybe a Masters is better suited for you—it just depends. The question of “when” is still a challenging one to answer (this is my current struggle).  If you are like me and have been working in the real-world for some time now, the thought might have crossed your mind more than once but still no luck in deciding when to go.

So here is some advice that I've either read or received from friends who have done this already or are in progress of pursing grad school:
  1. Have a “come to Jesus” session!- Spend some time figuring out your life plan. Write it out or create a vision board of what you see yourself accomplishing in years to come. It’s not a perfect plan but once you “make your vision plain” it helps you see a bit clearer to organize a strategy to achieve your goals.  Then, pray about it!
  2. Research makes your dreams work!- It’s never too early to begin research, ask questions, attend grad fairs or plan visits with schools to get your motivation going. After talking to some admission counselors or current students, this might help you make some decisions about your future education.  Also, if you know early that any of these schools might require an exam to enter then this is your opportunity to start preparing for this as well.
  3. Confide in your family and friends for support-Sometimes you just need a listening ear to help you think through your plan. Your support system always wants what is best for you and they do want to see you reach your full potential so you can count on them for advice, prayer and support.
  4. Do what is best for you!-Sometimes as a twenty-something we feel the pressure to be something that isn’t always what we agree with for ourselves. Stay true to yourself! If you aren’t ready for school, THAT IS OK! At the end of the day, live your life and do what makes YOU happy!
Photo Courtesy Tax Credits

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