In the interest of transparency, I’m admitting something that will make me sound incredibly inconsistent. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate the way universities work. Nevertheless, for the first time in my life, I’m considering going to graduate school.
Well, that’s not really true. I may have considered it before when I was a lot younger, and I went through a bout of thinking about it last year for a while, but decided that I hated stodgy academia too much. I also had some pretty bad grades at various points during my long and illustrious tenure as an undergrad, which I figured would complicate admissions a bit.
I still hate stodgy academia. (Stodgy, pretentious academics too, to be honest—although I try really really hard not to hate people.) I’ve also decided that universities exploit grad students even more than undergrads. I still have a less-than-awesome GPA, although my A average last year has hopefully pulled me up to being eligible (and I have some professors in my corner that would help a lot with admissions). So why am I considering this?
- I wouldn’t discount the beer. Beer has caused people to do all sorts of ridiculous things, and I am no exception. (Grad students don’t get extra beer, or anything. It’s just Friday and I’ve had some delicious beer and I think it may be affecting my judgement.)
- My pride is also a factor. I’ve been conditioned to think that academic credentials are important, or at the very least something that will impress other people, and I’m big enough to admit that I like impressing other people.
- I honestly think I would be good at it. University so far has not really been my cup of tea. It hasn’t been the haven of free thought that I would have liked it to be; I suppose that’s just the nature of a BSc Eng. Grad school, however, seems a lot different. I would have a lot of freedom to study the areas that interest me and try crazy new things. I have a ton of ideas about how the concepts I only barely got to scratch the surface of during my undergrad could be applied to make the world better.
- I don’t really have time for grad school. I mean, it would have to be part time no matter what, and even then it would distract me from my businesses. (It isn’t lost on me that grad school projects could greatly benefit my existing businesses or spark new ones, but I don’t really know how to weigh that.)
- I don’t have money for grad school. I wouldn’t do it if I couldn’t get grant funding, but even then I’m not sure how it would work.
So here I am, thinking out loud; your feedback is always appreciated.