The Truth About Grad School

The Truth About Grad School

Going back to school after undergrad was rough. I was mentally checked out in every way but I knew I wanted to get my master’s. It was quite a journey but I made it. Grad school was an interesting experience. I loved being part of a school again but at the same time I questioned it a lot. So here’s the truth about grad school.

Is It Really Needed?

I think this is the biggest thing people ask. My answer is that it depends on what career you want. I got my master’s in public relations, which I feel like in this field it isn’t really needed it. I personally just wanted to get it. But there are other fields where you have to have it to move forward. So make sure to research thoroughly and analyze why you’re trying to do it.

Is It Harder?

Yes and no. There is a bigger level of expectation because, in my program at least, we were expected to know a lot of the things and were merely building from it. Speaking from my experience, my professors presented us the material and we did the work. Yes, we learned but they expected us to already know all the foundation. This is important because I went from journalism in undergrad to PR in grad school, so I had to teach myself some things. I would say it is a bit more challenging and moves at a faster pace.

Compared to Undergrad

Undergrad teaches you all the main tools for your field. For me, I felt like grad school builds upon that and makes you dig deeper. So instead of learning a concept, we are taking the concept and analyzing it in how it’s supposed to work. Again from my experience, my program was more about the application of it and gathering the research, whereas undergrad was learning about them. It may depend on the program as well, so it’s important to look into that.

Final thoughts: I enjoyed grad school. I personally wanted to do it because I wanted to earn my hood and see how far I can take my education. If you value education and/or need to get ahead in your career, I say go for it. But don’t sweat it if you don’t think it’s for you.

I Wrote My Way Out

I Wrote My Way Out

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved writing. The idea of going to college wasn’t so clear to me growing up. I knew that people did that after high school but I didn’t know what to do. So after high school I went off to college knowing I wanted to write but no idea where. I flipped flop from being an English major to a Communication major all throughout my first two years of undergrad. I just knew I had to do something. So in the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda, “I wrote my way out.”

I Wrote My Way Out

I Wrote My Way Out

Going to grad school seemed completely out of the question. I had no idea what I would do but I was determined. I didn’t want to just be content with a bachelor’s and if I could get more, I would. It was a long process of applying and deferring. I don’t know what it was but May 2017 I decided to just start school.

I ended up loving grad school. But before my last semester I got cold feet and almost stopped. However after some good advice, I went back. Now here I am completely done and graduated.

“I wrote my way out” means a lot to me because I feel like no one thought writing would get me anywhere. I have a screenshot from someone from high school telling me this. But here I am. What I learned in grad school has helped me so much in my career and this blog. Writing has opened new avenues and adventures that I never thought would happen.

This master’s degree is just a symbol of all the things I can do. I know that there’s still more out there. Things are possible and I can make it work with the gifts I have. Here’s to one milestone!

Gift Guide for College Students

Gift Guide for College Students

Y’all, college is hard and I can slowly feel my light dim the more I get into grad school. College students are just confused kids trying to be adults. So what better than a gift guide for college students!? College kids are just trying to make it through life and all they really need is some coffee, tbh. But here’s some more handy things to give them.

Gift Card to Barnes and Noble

Or literally gift cards wherever you can get books. I recently found that Barnes and Noble does book rentals and it’s amazing. College books are expensive so please help a sad and broke college student to not go broke buying one book. It’s such a helpful gift.

Anything Food Related

But like actual food. Sure a shirt that says “fries before guys” is funny but it’s not going to keep us fed. Give groceries, gift cards to their favorite coffee shops, or tools so they can actually cook a good meal. Food is life. A food gift is always a good gift.

The Necessities

I’m actually really weird at receiving gifts. I hate feeling like someone is wasting their money on me. I know it’s fun getting really cool gifts and the latest anything. But give college kids things that they will use in life. Does it seem like a boring gift? Sure. But at least they’ll have something they’ll use.

What’s a gift you would get college students?

Check out more gift guides here.

How Grad School is Giving Me a Second Chance at the College Experience

How Grad School is Giving Me a Second Chance at the College Experience

College has almost become a rite of passage. We all think of the typical college experience and hope ours will be some of the best years of our lives. I’m a very shy person so although I liked my undergrad experience, there’s a lot I held back from. As my senior year ended, I regretted not being part of more things. I never thought that going to grad school would give me the opportunity to live through the college experience again. I go to a school were graduate students can participate in the same things as those in undergrad. 

This whole year in general I’ve been trying to do new things and step out of my bubble. So I decided that if I’m going to do grad school, I might as well go all out. It has shown me that grad school can give me another opportunity to experience college and it’s been quite the adventure. Here’s how grad school is giving me a second chance at the college experience.

All of the Events

One of the main things I missed out of undergrad was all the late night events. As a commuter, I didn’t want to stay at school longer and tried to leave as soon as I can. That’s something that now I see was completely on me and I should’ve tried to participate a bit more. So whenever I see an event on campus, I push myself to go even if I go by myself. I got to cross off going to a concert by myself and it was fun! So excited to go to more activities and games. Let’s be real, college sports are great!

Networking is huge! I definitely missed the mark on this as an undergrad but I’m taking full advantage of it now. I’m also taking time to meet with my professors and build relationships with them, which helps in the long run because they have so much knowledge. Usually I focused so much on working through undergrad that I would miss key opportunities, so this time I am making sure to connect with people.

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Knowledge is Power

This time around I’m truly valuing my classes. I’m actually digging deeper into the content instead of just trying to get a passing grade. It’s actually really great because I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth this time. This is what college is all about and I’m excited to feel like my degree will have value.

Part of Something Bigger

The school I chose is significantly bigger than where I did my undergrad and that has its perks. There is a rooted loyalty and history that makes it so fun to be part of. I feel like I actually have school pride, which is something new for me I always thought I was too cool for that. But now I get how people get passionate about the college they attend. It’s a really cool to feel part of something bigger!

What do you think about the typical college experience? Is it something that interested you or something you avoided?

Check out more college related posts here.

Let’s Talk: Is College for Everyone

Let’s Talk: Is College for Everyone

Since I started grad school I’ve gotten so many questions about school. But by far some of the most asked questions are it’s necessary or if they should even go. At first I told everyone yes. College is expected once you’re done with high school. But college is a whole different ballgame and something that everyone handles differently. Let me tell you know, there is no clear yes and no answer. So let me navigate through this.

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It’s Tricky

I’m a huge advocate for school. Part of it is because I genuinely love writing papers and school spirit. I also made some of my best memories in college. So I’m a bit biased because I want everyone to go to college because I loved it. But with all things, there are pros and cons.

Some of the pros to go to college are that you’ll at least have a degree to fall back on. You can make your degree work for you somehow. Plus, if you actively engage with professors you can make connections that can help you in your career. You really do learn a lot about what you’re majoring in and it can expand your thinking. I know people who ended up switching their major because they took an elective class they loved and realized their passions were different. On a more personal side, I’ve known people who come into their own in college. With new independence and no pressures of high school, people learned to be themselves and grew as people.

So now for some cons. In my opinion, the biggest con is finances. Thankfully I had a scholarship as an undergrad and did work study so my loans were low, but now that I’m in grad school and have to rely on loans to pay for it, I realize how expensive it is. Debt is what keeps people away. But there’s ways around it so do tons of research! Another con is that sometimes you don’t need it. I’ve known people who have gotten good jobs without a degree. You also have to switch your mentality about school. It’s easy to see the party aspect but I know people who struggled because they could get A’s without studying in high school but in college that didn’t work. It’s a huge adjustment.

Who Should Go to College

If you want to go into a career that you can only achieve with a degree, you should 100% pursue college. There’s some careers that there’s no way around this. If you’re uneasy, do deep research on schools and find one that fits. Sometimes disliking the school you attend also makes you dread college, so remember you can transfer out. Ideally, I say everyone should go and at least try it but you should go if you value the education you’ll get.

What About Grad School

Grad school is tricky. You can get your dream job without grad school. Personally, I decided to go to grad school because I wanted to prove myself. I did well enough in undergrad but I knew I could’ve done better, so I wanted to try grad school to see how far I can push myself. I also like the idea that I can be a professor. But I don’t feel like grad school is a required option. I recommend it if you want to continue learning about something in particular and if you want a career that requires you to have a masters. It definitely takes a different kind of commitment.

What do you think about this? Do you think everyone should go to college?

P.S. Want to submit a topic or question for the Let’s Talk series? Submit something here!