May 2018 - The Life You Love

3 Things No One Tells You About Graduate School

As I'm writing this, I just finished my 2nd year of my master's program and I have one more year left.  If I'm being honest, I'm basically just going through the motions so I can get the degree.  I've been learning a lot from my internship, but not so much from my classes.  Of course, each person and each program is different.  There are some things, however, that I think might be the same for anyone regardless of where they are in their program or what program they're in.

1. If you don't make time for what you value, it could suffer.

Your health, your relationships, your self-care... all of those important parts of your life may come second to graduate school if you don't tend to them.  While some people might think that school needs to come first, I completely disagree.  If you don't have a strong foundation, everything else will come crumbling down.  Make time for yourself.  Make time for the people you care about.  Learn how to be more intentional with your time.

2. You'll probably feel like quitting at least once.

Notice how I said at least.  Some people might feel like dropping out once during their program, others - like me - might feel like dropping out at least once per week.  Why?  Because it's exhausting and it's challenging.  I don't find my program particularly challenging, but it is draining.  Just remind yourself why you began the program and what you want to do after you graduate.  If that doesn't work, remind yourself how much time and money you've already poured into the program.

3. You'll feel close to the people in your cohort.

Regardless of whether or not you hang out with your classmates, there is a certain feeling of closeness that you may experience.  Think about all of the projects, papers, and late nights that you've all had.  Think of all of the texts about what's due when and what they got for #4.  Your classmates understand what you dealt with and that's something special.

If the job that you want requires a master's degree, go for it.  If you'll get higher pay for having a master's degree, go for it.  If you just want a master's degree, go for it.  Just prepare yourself for some difficulties and try to stay positive.  And don't forget to take care of yourself!