If you see yourself going to grad school, it’s really never too soon to start looking. This in a nutshell, is why I found myself at Duquesne’s Grad School fair this Wednesday. I’m a junior, so the pressure’s not really on yet. The GREs are nothing more than a distant, nightmarish specter in my future. So it is a lot of fun to talk to everyone about what they love about their college and to nerd out a little bit about amygdalas and brain research.
There’s something about the idea of grad school that is much more serious than undergrad, to me at least. Is it the idea of actually making some substantial money? Or the fact that it’s really hard to get in? Grad school programs accept far fewer students than undergraduate programs do. One of the representatives told me, “Our program is pretty reasonable; we accept about 60 students a year, max.” In grad school, too, you have to have an idea of what specific kind of work you see yourself doing. You start to commit to your career path. All that screams adulthood, right there.
And unless you’re one of those remarkable people with a five-year plan, you might not know what to do immediately after you graduate. It might be the Peace Corps. It might be working your debt off a little or researching to pad up your CV. It might be grad school, with a full teacher’s assistantship. You never know. But it’s generally good to get a bit of an idea of what your possibilities are before you go trekking off to the great unknown. At least, you’ll have some idea what your options are. You’ll get to know a little about people who have chosen those particular colleges and made it, or get the inside scoop on what they’re looking for. (And you might get free hand sanitizer, don’t forget that.)