I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree from ASU back in 2010. I was in my early 20’s at the time and working a full time job at a bank as a Personal Banker. At the time, I lived paycheck to paycheck and didn’t have any idea of what I wanted to do with my life. I remember graduating with a degree in Communication and thinking that my dream job was to work in New York City as a writer for a famous magazine. Boy, how my plans changed….
During the time of my graduation, there was a theory that it was best to continue on to Graduate School. The thought process there was…”you might as well finish it now before you have to start paying school loans.” Plenty of 20-somethings were continuing on to Grad School to be finished by their mid 20’s. However, my pathway was a little different. I waited 6 years before the idea of Grad School even slightly appeared in my dreams. I finish my program in March of 2018, and I would argue to anyone that it is best to take a break and enjoy some time off before going to Grad School. Here are the top 5 reasons why it was better for me to wait…for Graduate School.
1. You get a mental and physical break
This one is a given. After spending four long years of late night study jam sessions and memorizing Modern Language Association (MLA) format, you deserve some time off. It will feel good to give paper writing a rest and not have to read from textbooks that you spent a fortune on (and will never use again).
2. You can start to pay back school loans
Now that you’ve graduated, you’ll have a 6 month grace period before you go into repayment status. If you were strategic, you would have saved up money during school to begin paying back the school loans. Either way, you’ll need to pay down a substantial portion of your school loans if you are looking to take out more when you decide to pursue Grad School.
3. You can experience life events
You now have all the extra time to go out, have dates, plan weddings, perhaps have a baby (or two). Without having to constantly worry about school work, you can actually enjoy time spent with family, friends and other loved ones.
4. You can find out what you are passionate about
9 times out of 10 (figuratively speaking), what you studied during your Undergrad years won’t actually turn out to be a subject that you are passionate about (or even able to make a living out of). For instance, a degree in “General Studies” is fantastic, but what career does it lead you to? Post graduation, you can start expanding on topics that began to peak your interest during your Undergrad experience. You can try different hobbies out, travel, and meet people to truly discover what it is that drives your passion.
5. You gain personal and professional experience
Arguably the BEST reason to wait for Grad School is that you have the time to gain personal and professional experience. During my current Master’s program, my school work was 10X easier to complete because I had knowledge to pull from past experiences in the jobs that I’ve had. My professional experience and job roles that I have held with my current employer gave me insight and knowledge necessary to excel in my program.
If you are a recent college graduate and considering Grad School, it makes sense to wait a few years before continuing on. If you have been putting off going back to school, give yourself credit because of all the experience you’ve gained during the time you’ve been out of school. Either way, taking a break in between studies can help you rejuvenate and really find your passion before you enter Grad School.
Here’s to picking up that textbook and diving right in to studies!