Being a college senior, the idea of graduate school has been floating in my head for quite some time now. If I want to attend, I have to start planning right away, start studying for my GREs and start saving up to cover the new expenses. If I do not attend, I have to enter the “adult world” and begin working a 9 to 5 job every day of the week. Both scenarios are slightly intimidating for a 21-year-old, but sooner or later, I will have to choose which path to take.
I believe that after four years of college and receiving your bachelor’s degree, you should take a break. There needs to be a time to rest your brain and stop being stressed about an upcoming exam or presentation. In 2018, the American Psychological Association found that 45 percent of college students report to a counselor due to stress, and 61 percent due to anxiety. Students are overwhelmed because of everything they need to do to pass their classes and leave with a degree in a matter of four years. This calls for a step back. After graduation, we should be revitalizing ourselves, and knowing what we are interested in, finding a way to weave that interest into a position of pay. This could be a job or an internship, and it will help you start paying off some of your debt from the last four years. That is going to be my main goal after graduating: having the funds to start paying back my loans. Once I get started on that, there will be room to start putting money in savings, stocks or other investments. Though many do this, I do not think it is beneficial to graduate and start traveling right away like it is time for vacation. A small celebratory trip is sufficient, but I think traveling for months and months is just a way of avoiding reality: the reality of eventually being ready for graduate school! We should be focusing on moving forward, not staying in the same place.
Many companies nowadays will pay for you to go to graduate school, if they think you are qualified and can handle the balance of both classes and a job. Currently, many higher-level and higher paying jobs are looking for someone with an advanced degree. It seems that four years of college is not enough anymore. Working for a few years at a company and then having them pay for me to go to graduate school is my idea of success. I can pay off loans, start saving up for “real, adult life” and then receive a master’s degree in two to three years. What is the rush? I do not have to jump right back into school the second I am finished with it at Siena. Many graduate schools require more than just a bachelor’s degree; they require work experience. You will have limited work experience if you go right away, and you will not be able to contribute much. Robert Farrington tells Forbes Magazine, “Grad school isn’t the time to find yourself.” You should have a concrete reason for going: not just because you have nothing better to do at this point in your life and you still are struggling to find your true self after your undergraduate years. It is an expensive way to try and figure out where you are going with the rest of your life, and what you are planning to be. If you do not have a job lined up, keep looking. Do not settle for more schooling right away just because you are scared of what else is out there. If graduate school is on your bucket list, find the right time to go with the right circumstances. You bet that is what I will be doing.