I don’t think anyone understands just how excited I am to say this – but I’m graduating from my master’s program this December! While the last two years have gone by quickly, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thrilled to be done.
Before I dive into the pros and cons of graduate school, I’ll provide you with a little bit of backstory on how I got here.
Following my time in undergraduate school, I was originally supposed to attend law school, but knew it wasn’t the right choice. After some searching, my mom was actually the one to discover my program, and I immediately knew it would be a great fit! Initially, my entire move to Chicago was based on school – but after interning in my field in the city, I decided that a full-time job was more of a priority, which resulted in me attending graduate school part-time. All that means is that instead of three classes per semester (which I’m currently taking this fall), I’ve taken two classes per semester. Now, let’s dive in.
Pro # 1 – The People You Meet
The friends that I’ve made these past two years have been one of the best experiences! I particularly love my specific program because it’s so diverse and we’re all so different. There are people hailing from Chicago, India, Colombia and so many other cool places, and it’s been amazing to hear about and share in different experiences with these people. Just the other weekend one of my good friends Hiba from 2ChiChicks had the cutest event in the city, and it was so fun knowing that I was able to celebrate with her all because of this program!
Con #1 – It’s Time Consuming (and Draining)
Everyone is different, but I chose to attend graduate school while working full-time. I won’t lie to you, it’s been extremely difficult. There’s nothing worse than working an 8-hour day and then having to tack on 4 more hours to that day to go to class. It makes for very long days, and oftentimes you have to cut your social life down a bit to work on papers or exams throughout the weekend. There’s definitely been several occasions where I’ve left work and skipped class to head straight for the bed. Be prepared to lose a few hours of relaxation!
Pro #2 – It’s A Resume Career Booster
Let’s face it. The number one reason that people attend graduate school is because it will be good for their career – not just in the short term, but in the long term. I’m happy to say that even before graduation, I’ve reaped the benefits of my program. In fact, the job that I’ve had for almost two years in January will be because of connections made from one of my graduate courses! I’m really looking forward to how it will better serve me in the future.
Con #2 – It’s Extremely Costly
I’m sure you know that graduate school is very expensive. Unfortunately, before I committed to the program, I was not aware of just how costly it actually is. It’s not fun to think about paying for the program over the next few years and I absolutely hate it. If you don’t properly plan for the future, you can definitely find yourself in a bad situation. I’d highly recommend figuring out if its financially feasible for you, because if not, it may not be worth it for you at the moment.
So, there you have it – some of the pros and cons of graduate school! Can you relate?
Photos by Ashlee O’Neal