Grauduate School Application / Search Woes

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Nyarlathotep
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Grauduate School Application / Search Woes

Postby Nyarlathotep » Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:31 pm UTC

I think this can be a general thread for everyone's "OH GOD, I GRADUATED WITH AN UNDERGRAD DEGREE IN X, WHAT DO I DO NOW?!" thread.

I am going to start with my own woes.

I am an English major with minors in East Asian Studies and Studio Art. I am notorious for being horrifically indecisive and not having a clear idea of what I want, ever. As an example of this, I was an EAS major initially becuase I couldn't pick a major and wanted to do something in every department, and EAS would allow me to take classes in History, Art History, Sociology, Theatre Arts, Comparative Lit, Linguistics, and Poly Sci.

Then I got to Japan, realized that I sucked at languages and would never go anywhere with such a degree, and changed my major. In my junior year. To a major that I had not taken a single class in simply becuase I went "Well, I write okay. I guess."

As an English major, I love writing, I love editing work, I love any oppertunity I can get that to combine with my Studio Art minor, becuase I still absolutely love doing design work and photoshop stuff. As a writer, I'm notoriously lazy despite being fairly competent and have trouble actually putting work together. In terms of what I like in literature, I pretty much hate romance novels, novels of manners, Jane Austen, and frankly 99% of 20th century American literature. I love medieval and Anglo-Saxon literature and linguistics of all kinds despite being utterly unable to actually speak languages and a complete failure at the technical aspects of grammar. When I actually get jobs, people usually only care about my design and art skills and couldn't care less that I can write. I don't particularly want to teach YET, but I'm considering that maybe after a few years actually out in the field (The Field being, if I am EXTRORDINARILY lucky, comic book editing; if only very lucky, magazine editing or book publishing; if I am not lucky at all, probably doing marketing for an IT company boooo) I could go back to school and teach.

I think you begin to see my problem, here.

I've been looking at various writing programs, including a few publishing programs, but my advisers keep telling me that a degree in publishing is fucking useless, and that the main school I was looking at, the University of Baltimore (in-state tuition! MFA in publishing arts! Whee!) is in fact a terrible school with a terrible grad program and I shouldn't even consider it. I have two main advisers and they constantly contradict each other in what they think is a good program for me and what I should do with my life, which is bad because I place a lot of stock by their advice.

I don't know what to do. Part of me is even wondering if I should go to graduate school at all, save for that I don't really know what I'd do if I don't.

Help me, XKCD-Kenobi, you're my only hope.

...

well not really, but you get the picture.
'Gehȳrst þū, sǣlida, hwæt þis folc segeð?
hī willað ēow tō gafole gāras syllan,
ǣttrynne ord and ealde swurd,
þā heregeatu þe ēow æt hilde ne dēah.

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Omegaton
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Re: Grauduate School Application / Search Woes

Postby Omegaton » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:32 am UTC

You might want to page through the first couple chapters of a book called "Getting What You Came For" by Robert Peters, PhD. In these chapters he talks about what you should expect out of grad school, what you need to do to prepare for grad school, and a little bit about whether it's even necessary. It's worth a look.

My inclination, knowing nothing about the field or your intended line of work is that you don't look like you need to go to grad school...

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Nyarlathotep
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Re: Grauduate School Application / Search Woes

Postby Nyarlathotep » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:59 am UTC

Omegaton wrote:You might want to page through the first couple chapters of a book called "Getting What You Came For" by Robert Peters, PhD. In these chapters he talks about what you should expect out of grad school, what you need to do to prepare for grad school, and a little bit about whether it's even necessary. It's worth a look.

My inclination, knowing nothing about the field or your intended line of work is that you don't look like you need to go to grad school...


Huh. That's the second time I've been told to do this. I'll see if the local library has it.
'Gehȳrst þū, sǣlida, hwæt þis folc segeð?
hī willað ēow tō gafole gāras syllan,
ǣttrynne ord and ealde swurd,
þā heregeatu þe ēow æt hilde ne dēah.

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sophyturtle
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Re: Grauduate School Application / Search Woes

Postby sophyturtle » Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:30 pm UTC

Along the whole grad school issues thing:
It took me 6 years to do my undergrad. Not because I am unintelligent, but because I got kicked out due to substance abuse. I no longer do those things, and now have my BS in psychobiology.

When I started my job 2 years ago everyone asked if I wanted to become a doctor (MD). I said no. Then Dr. Tiller was killed and I all of a sudden felt a sense of duty (and started thinking about MD ness for me). I had been thinking about grad school before, in the abstract 'I am over 25, if I want to do grad school I should start thinking about it' way. The problem with becoming an MD, I don't really want to deal with patients.
I used to want to be a teacher, but now groups of people under the age of 18 make me uncomfortable. I could do research, and I actually like doing research.
Maybe I will do that.

Anyway, I have decided to take at least one class next term so I can make sure I have the classes needed for grad school. Specifically, I am taking chemistry. Or I really want to if I don't chicken out. I might also want physics, since I am crap at that.

And I will check on things, read books and whatnot. Mostly I wanted to vent about the nervousness.
Going back to school is scary.
I want to get to a place where I am neither conforming nor rebelling but simply being.

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modularblues
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Re: Grauduate School Application / Search Woes

Postby modularblues » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:00 pm UTC

I'm finding The Smart Way To Your Ph.D by Dora Farkas to have some great tips.

No amount of advice-seeking can save me from my abysmal issues because I'm beyond salvage, but I'm sure said book will help many others.


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