Graduate school: Is it the best option or not?

Sep 11 • Opinion • 138

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My senior year has only just begun, but graduation already looms in the background, even if it isn’t until the spring.
That semester-and-a-half of time from now to graduation does little to alleviate my stress.
Once I walk across that stage, the next chapter of my life will begin, whether I want it to or not.
Before that moment, I have to get through that semester-and-a-half. That starts with the fall, the season of graduate school applications and everything that comes with it.
A lot of students seem to already have their plans figured out. I, though, am not one of those students and that terrifies me.
I have never been much of a planner, but when the fate of my adult future is at stake, the lack of a plan is really hitting me.
My window of time to decide if I want to go straight to graduate school is narrowing quickly and I don’t feel great about it.
I have so many options on what I can do.
In theory that sounds like a great problem to have, but for someone as indecisive as I am, it’s a real problem.
If you know me, you know I love to have options, but when I do have options, I end up with real commitment issues.
Ultimately, I’m left asking people I barely know what I should do with my life.
I do this because I know there is no real wrong choice, but that doesn’t take the pressure I feel away.
It’s still there like a boulder on top of my head.
As people study for their graduate record examinations and write their essays for their graduate school applications, I am unsure if I should be doing that too.
Hopefully I figure it out soon.
I think graduate school and furthering your education can be important and serve as a fantastic opportunity.
That said, it’s not always the best option.
So many people also in the humanities have told me not to go to graduate school if I pay for it myself – especially if I don’t need it.
As much as I think furthering your education is important – and education in general – that doesn’t mean going to graduate school is the best bet for everyone.
For some, there’s a clear-cut path. If you want to be an occupational therapist, you continue your education.
If you want to go into education, you continue your education. For me, and many others, there is no obvious path.
Slowly I’m talking to more people who are just as confused on the next step as I am, I find comfort and solidarity among them.
I feel a little less rushed, less hurried. I feel more OK that I haven’t figured it out yet.
Maybe I don’t have an abundance of time before I graduate, but that’s OK. I’m still young.
I don’t need to have my entire life figured out yet.
It’s impossible to have it all figured out.

ALEXA ROGERS
rogers034@knights.gannon.edu

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