Our parents constantly remind us of all the sacrifices they made in order for us to be able to succeed in life. Pursuing an education is something that is deeply ingrained in our minds. So naturally, we start chasing after this dream because we believe this is the right thing to do.
Now, you graduated with your bachelor’s degree and are left wondering: what’s next?
Many graduates find jobs in their fields, others end up working in something completely different, and others venture off into additional schooling like medical school or Ph.D. programs.
Enter grad school
As an undergrad student, you are somehow more easygoing. You are filled with hopes and dreams and are getting to know the world. As young adults, you feel unstoppable. You become friends with beer pong and rooftop parties without a care in the world.
I graduated top of my class back then, but I still felt like a child throughout the process. While I somehow made time to be a full-time student, work full-time, and have a full-blown social life, the reality is that now I barely have the energy to juggle my daily readings and work. Social life? Out the damn window.
Call it age or your trauma finally catching up to you, grad school is not for everyone.
The first semester is probably the hardest one
The adjustment from binge-watching Netflix every day to having the responsibility of keeping up with assignments and reading is more challenging than you think.
You start to miss all the time you wasted and the lack of appreciation for all the liberty that you had. You quickly realize that you no longer have the strength or energy to pull all-nighters and somehow have to squeeze in full-time work, go to class, and complete assignments on time. The struggle is real.
You will read and write a lot. Whereas before, the biggest concern was going to class and passing your tests, grad school is a whole different world. You must constantly learn, read, research, and teach yourself material. Forget about doing things the night before. It’s virtually impossible.
Couple that with a full-time job and all your “adulting” responsibilities, and you have a recipe for becoming overwhelmed fast if you cannot figure out a way to manage your time.
In addition, imposter syndrome, which “involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite your education, experience, and accomplishments,” is real. You will think others are more talented and more deserving than you. You’ll feel as if you “just got lucky” when you received a good grade on an assignment. You can diminish your success, and this can be damaging to your self-image.
Navigating the complexities of transitioning from regular life to grad school student life can be difficult, but if this is something you are passionate about, go for it. Even if it takes you more years to complete, what matters is your journey and your success.
Reach for the stars and become the best version of yourself.