Bowling Green Falcons vs. Indiana Hoosiers                    10  -  42 Photo by L. Gregory Campbell

Bowling Green Falcons vs. Indiana Hoosiers
10 – 42
Photo by L. Gregory Campbell

You’ve read a million chapters, completed assignments, and conquered your email inbox. What’s next?

College football Saturday is here. Put on your cream and crimson and grab your student ID (I’m assuming you already purchased your student season tickets). Walking to the stadium be sure to stop by tailgates hosted by departments, graduate student groups, and fellow classmates. Play a round or two of cornhole and begin your walk into the stadium.

Often graduate students become isolated in their research and work, it’s nice to take a Saturday and enjoy some football. I realize that football may not be everyone’s cup of tea…so college basketball is just around the corner.

Take all of this with a grain of salt as these are the confessions of a PAC 12/ Trojan alumna.

Main Event: Grad School v. Work Force

Fighting out of the blue corner : Graduate “Smarty Pants” School

Fighting out of the red corner : Full Time “Dollar Bills” Job

The blue corner came out swinging in my case. I knew that I wanted to at least get my Master’s right away. Coming from a private university where my upper level classes in Spanish and Gender Studies were small and intensive I wanted to keep the conversation going. Before there could actually be a legitimate ruling for the blue corner win, I sought out different internships and part-time positions in the fields I was most interested in. I worked and interned at health centers, non-profit organizations, and university offices. I also traveled during my summers so I could experience studying and working abroad.

The red corner made some gains as I dreamed of steady paychecks, set work schedules, and most of all NO MORE EXAMS AND PAPERS, but I knew that I couldn’t stop…at least not yet. With the support of my family I explained that graduate school was the necessary step in my academic journey. I spoke with professors, advisors, and internship supervisors to have a better idea of my options, but ultimately the decision was mine to make and I decided to apply and explain to different programs the importance of my future research.

Did I know exactly what I wanted to do? NO…but I had a general, yet lofty idea. That idea not only required a MA and PhD, but also work experience. From the B.A. -> M.A. -> Ph.D. (in progress) you could say I am a professional student, but I would have to disagree. While earning each degree I was a collegiate athlete (work), graduate assistant (work), or currently a research assistant (work).

Unfortunately, the decision, options, and circumstances are different for each person as to whether they should pursue full time employment after college or immediately apply to graduate school.

WINNER after a 10 second count : Graduate “Smarty Pants” School