The Pros and Cons of Graduate School

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 finish.

Before I dive into the pros and cons of graduate school, I’ll provide you with a backstory on how I landed in Chicago.

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 was the perfect fit. Initially, my entire move to Chicago was based on school – but after interning in my field in the city – I decided that pursuing a full-time job was my top priority. I then chose to become a part-time student for my first two years, and this semester am a full-time student. That means that rather than two classes per semester, I am taking three. 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 my classmates and I are 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 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 attend class. It makes for very long days, and oftentimes you have to cut your social life down 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 will be due to 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 did not educate myself well-enough on the actual cost. It’s not fun to think about paying for the program over the next few years, but I know that it was the right choice. 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 

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  1. 9.17.18

    I’m graduating law school in the springtime and I always knew I wanted to go for a masters as I always like aiming for the highest form of education. I’m very glad that the financial part is not a problem for me as Universities don’t charge tuition fees here.

    • 9.21.18
      Lauren O. said:

      Congratulations on your graduation! And I agree – I think higher education is super important, but I’m also extremely jealous that tuition is free where you live! That is AMAZING!

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