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Monday, November 3, 2008

When to go to Grad School

You’ve just finished attaining your undergraduate degree and now you’re getting ready for the next step, but what will that next step be? Will you go directly to graduate school? Or will you enter the workforce and get some experience before going to graduate school? Neither way is the “correct” way, it just depends on your individual circumstances. Only you can determine when the time is right for you.

           Many may believe that going to graduate school right after undergrad school is just what you’re supposed to do, but it’s certainly not the case for everyone. Some may not want to wait a few extra years to jump in the workforce. Also, the financial burden that comes with grad school may be more than some students could handle after just taking four years of loans to get their undergraduate school. And, some students might just want to take a break before losing their social life for another few years. Whatever the case may be there are many advantages to waiting to go to graduate school. For those who want to start working, that extra experience and time to figure out exactly what you want to do is a major plus that could save money and time. Waiting could also help kill some of the financial stress. You could pay off your loans before taking more and also some jobs will even pay for you to obtain a graduate degree. Academic burnout could also be avoided by taking a little time to relax before taking on the heavy workload of a graduate degree.

           There are also many advantages to going directly after undergraduate school. The material is still fresh in your mind, your still in the school routine, and most recent graduates have yet to start a family and are free of dependants. You are used to writing papers, studying and getting by on a tight budget. Also, one of the hardest parts of graduate school is just getting in. If you have a good relationship with some professors you’ll have a good source of reference letters for the application process.

           Before deciding on going to graduate school, you need to consider the time, energy and effort it is going to need. It would be ideal to take some time and do a bit of personal reflection. Consider what factors are influencing your decision to go. Avoid being swayed by what others are doing and think you should be doing. The choice is yours and you’re the only one who can  really decide when the time is right

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