Growing Up Toronto

Life, growing up, going after your dreams…

The Glimmer Of The Ivory Tower April 15, 2010

Filed under: Graduate School Musings — E.Z. @ 2:36 AM

Wow, it has certainly been a while. I have not posted since the inception of this until-now-naked blog. History certainly has a way of repeating itself. Here I am, once again, posting an entry on my blog instead of working on one of my final papers.

A word to the yet naive, starry-eyed undergrads: grad school is not some sort of purgatory! I most definitely had my reservations before entering the Ivory Tower, and I really should have done a little (okay…A LOT of) soul searching before accepting the offer.

Graduate school is simply not the place for you if you want to delay adulthood, are confused about your future and your prospects, or simply want to extend undergrad. This is a career, albeit a strange and unusual career, but it really is first and foremost, a job. The level of dedication that you are expected to have to your discipline really does not compare to the level of commitment you had toward your major during your days of undergrad.

If you are not prepared, grad school will chew you up, and spit you out. You will constantly question your worth, and wonder how the heck you managed to weasel yourself into the program in the first place. You must live and breathe your discipline. This is not to say that you cannot have hobbies, but, you must truly have an unrequited love for your discipline if you have any hopes of being successful (in the long run).

I realize now that graduate school is simply not the place for me. I am not interested in doing anymore armchair theorizing (I am a grad student in the humanities). I know that for some, acquiring esoteric knowledge is a satisfying pursuit, but it is not for me (I chose a very esoteric branch of an already intimidating discipline). I plan on telling my department that I no longer wish to pursue the PhD and instead wish to finish at the MA level. At my university, and in my particular department, to get an MA, you are required to complete 8 courses, and I should be done those by the end of the summer.

I must tell you that I cannot wait! I dream of being free from papers, and research that I find has no tangible or practical value. I simply cannot wait to find out who I am without the confines of the school system. I cannot wait to be free from countless hours of grading undergraduate papers (no offense undergrads).

I am so grateful for the opportunities that I have been given, but I really cannot wait to be finished. My university has supplied me with amazing funding, and I was lucky enough to score several scholarships- but my passion for what I am doing is simply nonexistent.

I plan on taking the year off and spending it developing my real passion: acting and writing! I will also be applying to law school in November, and perhaps to a postgraduate public relations program – so the future is still a complete mystery to me. All I know is that I relish working and interacting with people, advocating for them, representing them etc. I know that law, PR and acting would allow me to attain these goals.

Anybody else reconsidering graduate school? Feel free to post!