Wanting letters after my name

June 8, 2009 at 12:04 pm (future, in my head, Uncategorized)

Am I allowed to have a second quarterlife crisis if I promise it won’t involve dating bartenders?

I was flipping through a friend’s Facebook photos when I thought, “I waaaaaaant.” And it wasn’t just her handsome freckled boyfriend. She was in a university courtyard lounging in the sun in the way one does during the last few weeks of class. It suddenly made me want graduate school. Bad. But this isn’t really anything new.

I never thought I’d turn 30 without a graduate degree. That I don’t have one already is something I spend far too much time regretting. In my lower moments, I “I should have…” myself into the ground. This is one of those times.

I love to learn and I love semi-directed learning best. I love researching and writing papers. I love the collective sigh of relief that comes the day after finals. I love discussions that wander out of class and into bars and common rooms and courtyards. In short, I love school. Always have.

The Dangerous Ex shares bits of what he’s learning in law school and he has me rapt. The Future CEO (and recent graduate!) talks about group projects and reminds me of the fun (and frustration) of collaboration. Facebook taunts me regularly with photos like the one that brought on this little spell of longing. But pragmatism has me asking what degree? And at what cost?

I don’t want to focus in the way a Master’s in Art History would require, but I once loved to learn about art. I don’t think I’d enjoy getting an MBA (or, more precisely, the people I’d be in class with), but it would certainly be the most versatile. Law school sounds exhilarating and wonderful, but the thought of trying to get in makes me teary-eyed and sweaty. And I don’t know that I would want to practice.

But that’s just the beginning. Would I be willing to move for school? Would I be willing to go thousands upon thousands of dollars into debt? Would I be willing to give up a job with the potential for real growth where my superiors like and support me? Would I be willing to make a complete left turn in my career, establish new contacts, make new connections? Would I be willing to be five years older than everyone else in my class?

I’m certainly not there yet, but I think that eventually, I’m just going to have to jump.



  1. SoMi's Nilsa said,

    Lots of really good questions to ask yourself. Another one you might want to consider is … in tough economic times, as people lose their jobs, they often turn to graduate school. Not only does this mean getting in might become more competitive. But, it also means there will be more people graduating and competing for the same jobs when you’re done. Is that enough to deter you? Shouldn’t be. But, it’s definitely something to consider as you think about what type of program would interest you. Good luck!

    • BS said,

      Definitely another consideration and reason that, while a full-time program is far more attractive to me, I would likely end up in an evening/weekend MBA program. No such thing as part-time law school.

  2. Bridget said,

    I struggle with the same question/doubts on a regular basis. Nilsa does have a point and I struggle with what do I want more – law school or basket weaving?

    Anyway, when it becomes too much, I decide to move to Kona and drink margaritas all day long. I suggest we try it!

    • BS said,

      I am SO there. Just let me work on that independently wealthy thing.

  3. Peter DeWolf said,

    Wouldn’t there be some way to combine grad school with your job?

    • BS said,

      You’d think, wouldn’t you, but alas no.

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