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Thinking about grad school...

I like to think my academic career is on a pause right now as opposed to being over. Two years ago I garnered my BFA and I'm currently exploring the different routes it's taking me in. My plan was always to potentially go to grad school, but when you're on a budget, joining the work force just makes more sense. I've had a couple of years to really consider some of my options but I feel like I'm no where closer to my intended plan as I was when I graduated. To be frank, I conjured up more concerns that possibilities.

How will I pay for this? What should I study? Will I even get in? How do I apply? Will this lead to a career right away? Will I reap the benefits immediately? Will I fall into a hole of debt? - Are among some of the many questions going through my mind whenever I think of my academic future. I'm sure I'm not the only university graduate to be experiencing an academic existential crisis.

I was hoping to hear about some of your experiences and insights on these ideas, and if you have anything to share please feel free to do so :)

All the best,



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  • Hey Victoria,

    First off, congrats on the BFA!

    I always like to remind people that just because you may be working full-time, does not mean you have to cease to learn! Resumes and the nature of job-hunting really complicates the educational institution space! Your academic career does not need to be on pause, or end because you are not enrolled in a program.

    As long as you recognize that when attending university, regardless of whether you are applying to a graduate or undergraduate program, the time and money required is an investment above all else. Investing into your resume is great, it will move you forward, but ensuring your studies are an investment into yourself first is how you really hit a home-run in the job world. You seem to already be looking at it in this light to a certain extent which is great. Just remember that the workforce will always look better than attaining a degree if you're looking at your monthly expenses, but the same is most certainly untrue if you're looking at your standard of living, salary, and your ability to progress, say, 30 years down the road.

    Being the entrepreneurial, more ambitious type of person that I am, I opted for the self-employment route. Owning my own business where I am the pilot in the cockpit, creating a huge community of people who are passionate about what they do while growing the business to great success, and living life on my own terms is my personal dream. The downfall of this dream is the workload. So it may be totally different for you!

    But to answer your questions I will give you this. Societal constructs for success are very important, but they should come second, not first. As cliche as it may sound, you MUST find out what it is that is going to make you happy and live a fulfilled life before blowing $100K on a degree that may end up earning you a job you don't even enjoy. I think the other half of the problem is that we are in school from 8AM to 3PM every single day, from near birth to adulthood. No wonder we all aren't sure what to do when we finally have the freedom to choose if we want to stay in school or not!

    Most don't realize that by jumping into a degree you are essentially committing 14 years of your life to that field (4 years of study, and an average of 10 years paying off your loans with your credentials the degree earned you).

    Find out what you're passionate about, and learn as much as you can. From there, everything else will fall into place.

    Hope some of this helps you out on your journey! Best of luck :)


    P.S. How do you find what you're passionate about?

    1. What unique things do you do when you procrastinate (excluding socializing, Facebook, etc.)?
    2. What hobbies or interests do you think about most in the shower?
    3. What do you feel very qualified to teach someone else about?
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