Everyone thinks they have an idea about what grad school is going to be like. They know that they will end up writing. A Lot. They know that there is a ton of research involved, and that they will be able to focus on the academic subject that they really care about. But what they don’t know is that their lives will forever be changed, not just because they are moving forward into the next step on the higher education ladder toward a deeper understanding of their field, but because they also will never look at things the same way again.
Here are several other things they won’t tell you about grad school.
It’s A Full Time Job You Don’t Get Paid For
- If you are going to graduate school as a full time student, be aware that it is a full time job. I myself have made the same mistake twice of believing that I could work part-time and go to school full time. You will feel like death and become incredibly overwhelmed. Either that, or you will become like me, addicted to espresso, and you will never sleep again.
You Won’t Get Any Sleep Anyway
- Remember how I said that you wouldn’t be able to sleep if you chose to work while you went to school? Well, you won’t be able to get any sleep regardless. At least around crunch time when your 20 to 30-page research paper is due and you’re having trouble analyzing your quantitative data. If you do have to work while you’re in school, talk to an advisor, try to take one class at a time, and find a graduate program that caters toward working people.
Free Time? What Is That?
- I’ve disappeared and fallen off of the face of the earth two out of the three semesters that I have experienced in grad school. The one semester that I was actually visible to other people was the semester that I decided to take a bunch of upper division undergraduate level courses. After my experience with the previous semester, it felt like I had nothing to do. I didn’t have a care in the world. And then this semester hit and I had forgotten that, yes, I am a grad student, and I no longer have a life.
You’re Going To Feel Pretty Stupid At Some Point
- In grad school people with PhDs surround you, and there are more people who are dead set on get their PhD surrounding you as well. You will go to bars with colleagues and talk about dead philosophers, theories you have come across while compiling your literature review, and doing hard-core research with University professors. You’ll find a lot of this fun, but the rest of the time you will realize that you have absolutely no clue what’s going on and you’ll want to bury your nose in the nearest textbook.
You’ll Most Likely Be Glad That You Made The Decision To Go To Grad School
- If you have the means and the time to go and you are thinking about going, then go! You won’t regret educating yourself further in the subject that you are the most passionate about. You will come out of the entire experience a stronger and more competent person. Your ability to multitask and prioritize will far surpass any of your expectations, and years from now you will still be glad that you went on to receive a graduate degree.