To start the series I want to talk about the reasons to apply to graduate school. Some people want to apply to graduate school but don’t do it because they think is very expensive. Some of misconception of graduate school is that you are going to be in debt after graduate school. The reality is that there are a lot of scholarship for graduate programs and you have to look and apply for them if you don’t want to be on dept. The majority of PhD in math and sciences pay your tuition plus a living stipend which make your studies essentially free. Some master programs and also PhD programs in other fields allowed you to work in the library, tutor, writing center and TA a class which pay your tuition and give you a small stipend that will reduced the amount of money that you need, plus you can apply to scholarship in the university and outside. Use google and search for them, there are thousands of scholarship. Other things that you can do is during summer when you usually can’t do one of the above, you can apply for pay internship to safe money for the starting semester.
Don’t do graduate school because you don’t know what to do with your life after your bachelor’s degree. First of all, I think graduate school is hard to get into specially PhD programs. I don’t think is fair for people who actually want to study the program but are in the waiting list when you were offered admission and you really don’t care about studying it, you just need more time to realized what you want to do. In addition, it will not be something that you will enjoy because a PhD is 4 to 6 years commitment and you will not be happy being in a place that you don’t want to be for such longer period.
Don’t go to graduate school because your parents or someone else want you to go. You are already an adult and you should be capable of making your own decisions. As I mention before is a long period you don’t want to be researching something that you don’t like just because someone want you to do it, value your happiness.
Don’t go with the mentality that you will study what you want to study independent of the school or professor that are in the school. I believe in Languages, History, Arts, Philosophy and other Humanities programs you will have more flexibility than sciences and math.
Go to graduate school if you absolutely love your field during undergraduate studies or in the path you discovered something that makes you be passionate about certain topic. Graduate school will allow you to look more in-depth to these topics. It is important that you really like it because remember you can always adjust what you end doing in the end but is going to be probably your job for the following 30+ years.
Apply for the right reasons and I am assure you will enjoy your time in graduate school.
Continue being inspired and inspiring others