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Second Guessing Grad School...(long)

So after weighing my options and doing a TON of research, I am seriously second guessing grad school..

I've looked into the online schools and nothing suits my needs (I'd really like just a plain ol' MA in History and a lot of the programs either cost way too much for me or they have way too specialized of programs [i.e. Military History]). 

I also do not think I am up to the challenge of Grad school... I do not handle stress very well and I do not think I would be the most calm person taking grad classes. My GPA isn't stellar but it's enough to get me into a few schools and I have 2 semesters to really bring that up (maybe a few little points). 

Also, there is the whole issue of starting a family. I know my FI def. wants to wait until I'm out of school and im 100% fine with that, and he says he thinks I'm going to end up regretting not going to grad school if something were to happen. My other problem is that knowing myself, I will want to work right away and get my career going which will leave me little time for a family right away and I really don't want to be 30 having kids (women in my family do not have a good "success" rate over 30..my mom almost lost me at 33). My family has a very strong work ethic that was passed on to me through example and I work towards what I want no matter what. In this case, its going to be tough working and trying to start a family.

I'm not worried about the money too much because I feel that if I keep the job I have now I will be able to work more and go to school at the same time and have more money to put towards my school bills, etc. 

I guess I'm looking for advice and an insight to what you guys have gone through as well :\. I'm just getting nervous now and its kinda stressing me out.

Re: Second Guessing Grad School...(long)

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    Stacie,

    I'm finishing up my MA history now.  Honestly, I'm exhausted and am thinking at least for now that I do not want a PhD.  My original plan was to go for the Doctorate and become a professor, but now I'm thinking I just want to teach... whether community college, private highschool, or public highschool.  

    Grad school is ROUGH.  I haven't really "clicked" with any of the students or profs very much, and I don't get much enjoyment out of the reading or writing that we do.  I do get some enjoyment out of writing my thesis because its specific to my interests and it is MINE... I get to do what I want with it.  But at this point, I don't think I want a PhD badly enough to start one.

    I'm not telling you all of this to talk you out of it.  Some of my friends in the program actually enjoy it (although they agree that it is exhausting and stressful, of course).  They enjoy reading and writing history all of the time.  They are more interested in researching/writing history than they are in teaching.  They really want that PhD.  I would say that these people are meant for grad school.  Me.... not so much.  

    There is also the family problem.  The other women in the program I know are willing and able to travel across the country looking for a PhD program or a professor job whenever the time comes.  They are willing to postpone marriage and motherhood if need be.  Me...not so much.  

    Everyone is different, so you got to consider what is best for you.  But the only advice I can give you is that you need to really WANT it.  The conclusion I've come to from talking to other grad students is that If you don't really want it, you're probably going to be miserable in grad school.

    Good luck on making the right decision, and if you want any more specific information just PM me.

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_students_second-guessing-grad-schoollong?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:684Discussion:3eadf600-6d56-4d51-81e9-040386245c91Post:d51c7f23-e318-4454-82a6-71ce4a59fc22">Re: Second Guessing Grad School...(long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Stacie, I'm finishing up my MA history now.  Honestly, I'm exhausted and am thinking at least for now that I do not want a PhD.  My original plan was to go for the Doctorate and become a professor, but now I'm thinking I just want to teach... whether community college, private highschool, or public highschool.   Grad school is ROUGH.  I haven't really "clicked" with any of the students or profs very much, and I don't get much enjoyment out of the reading or writing that we do.  I do get some enjoyment out of writing my thesis because its specific to my interests and it is MINE... I get to do what I want with it.  But at this point, I don't think I want a PhD badly enough to start one. I'm not telling you all of this to talk you out of it.  Some of my friends in the program actually enjoy it (although they agree that it is exhausting and stressful, of course).  They enjoy reading and writing history all of the time.  They are more interested in researching/writing history than they are in teaching.  They really want that PhD.  I would say that these people are meant for grad school.  Me.... not so much.   There is also the family problem.  The other women in the program I know are willing and able to travel across the country looking for a PhD program or a professor job whenever the time comes.  They are willing to postpone marriage and motherhood if need be.  Me...not so much.   Everyone is different, so you got to consider what is best for you.  But the only advice I can give you is that you need to really WANT it.  The conclusion I've come to from talking to other grad students is that If you don't really want it, you're probably going to be miserable in grad school. Good luck on making the right decision, and if you want any more specific information just PM me.
    Posted by monkeysip[/QUOTE]

    <div>See, Im with you on the whole getting up and moving.. We cant. FI is too deeply invested into this house. And I dont want him to move because of me...I don't want that to be the case. I was thinking I could just take a year and get my post bachelor teaching certificate for now and establish myself as a teacher (middle or high school) and start my family and maybe go back to grad school. </div><div>
    </div><div>This all came to me when I was writing my statement of purpose..I couldn't find a way to sell myself to the school I want to go to..Its tough. But seeing what you said help put it in perspective.. .I dont think I am ready as of right now, nor will I be in a year. Thank you. A LOT</div>
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    edited April 2011
    Stacie, I would recommend talking to people in the program you're considering.  Especially women, but both kinds of students.  Ask them point-blank if they like grad school, if it's what they expected, if they think it was worth it, etc.

    As PP said, it's stressful but some people think it's worth it, while others find that it's not.  It's really hard to tell if someone is going to thrive (or at least survive) in grad school, and it's about so much more than being smart, or organized, or motivated.  Part of it is 'clicking' with your program/advisor/fellow students, and part of it is something unexplainable - like a certain gene that makes you suitable for putting up with the crap that grad school dishes out.  By talking to people face-to-face, you might get an idea of their personalities and see whether they are similar to you in some ways, to help you gauge if you will respond the same way they do (whether it's positively or negatively) to grad school in general and that program in particular.

    I will be honest, I would not be getting my PhD if I wasn't already so deeply invested.  And if DH gets a great job offer somewhere far away, it's not inconceivable that I would leave here with my master's and never look back.  Grad school really isn't a good fit for me even though I love science and I love research; a big part of it is my particular lab/advisor, but at this point I can't tell if it would really be any better if I was somewhere else.  I want to have a 'real' job and start a family; like you, I feel like I will go from grad school to post-doc to professor and be so driven to succeed that there will be no time (or energy) to start a family until I'm 35 - and many women professors wind up either quitting academia or not having kids, because it's so difficult (but not impossible) to have a family.

    I can't really give you specific advice because everyone is so unique - some of the people that I thought absolutely weren't cut out for grad school are happy as clams here, there's no set formula.  But I do think it's good to question it and think long and hard before making the committment.  I jumped into grad school because it was always presented to me as THE next step and I never considered any other options.  I wish I'd been a little more thoughtful when thinking about my future, because I'm pretty miserable, and that's a very common occurence amongst my peers.
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    edited April 2011
    Also, that's a bummer about the online degree.  May I ask, what kind of job are you planning to pursue with your degree?  It's possbile that some people in the same/a similar field could offer suggestions on alternatives (i.e. to teach high school history, you can get a master's in education rather than history, that kind of thing).  You might be surprised at the different paths you can take to wind up with the same type of job.
    A friend of mine works in patent law with a chemistry degree - she works alongside a lawyer as a consultant, basically, to 'translate' the science in patent applications.

    Edit: I just saw your post on CC and replied there.  I think that you still have options!!
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_students_second-guessing-grad-schoollong?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:684Discussion:3eadf600-6d56-4d51-81e9-040386245c91Post:d0afba43-adc3-4e3e-8d3e-f6d6744d1ace">Re: Second Guessing Grad School...(long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Also, that's a bummer about the online degree.  May I ask, what kind of job are you planning to pursue with your degree?  It's possbile that some people in the same/a similar field could offer suggestions on alternatives (i.e. to teach high school history, you can get a master's in education rather than history, that kind of thing).  You might be surprised at the different paths you can take to wind up with the same type of job. A friend of mine works in patent law with a chemistry degree - she works alongside a lawyer as a consultant, basically, to 'translate' the science in patent applications. Edit: I just saw your post on CC and replied there.  I think that you still have options!!
    Posted by LauraT25[/QUOTE]

    <div>Teaching high school is why I went to college in the first place. Then I realized our school detailed your whole college career and decided that I would get my degree in HIstory and not History with a concentration in Social Sciences. I can get a teaching certificate after my Bachelors fairly easy.</div><div>
    </div><div>I don't mind doing data entry (if it eventually gets me into something else). I mean, I like working with people and I know I can work better in a group but also on my own. I would start my own buisness but I dont even know where to begin with that!</div><div>
    </div><div>I have talked to professors I've had and asked to see their syllabus for graduate courses and almost wanted to cry. History is reading/writing intensive and I know if I apply myself I can do it. One of my professors I absolutely love and adore didn't have children until she was almost 40 and regrets it. </div><div>
    </div><div>I work civil service and a lot of places don't really mind what degree you have as long as you have one and qualify for the job. I would love to work at the history office on base, but I would be sent to another base somewhere, do a "residency" and then go to another base and hop around as if I was military..and I'd be deployable..which I can't do due to medical reasons so I'm automatically out.</div><div>
    </div><div>I think my biggest problem is that I can't really see myself doing anything haha. I would love to write a book (fictional.. I can't stand history books that are heavy in history which make people bored). its something I have to do a lot of research on what I think I'll be good at (starting with a career/personality assessment and going to Career Servces haha).</div><div>
    </div><div>But thank you Laura. I apreciate it a LOT.</div>
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