Hey guys! Welcome back. I hope you are having a great week. So I mentioned a few days ago that this month’s Q&A is coming up tomorrow and I asked you guys for questions. I got a lot of really great questions, and not to my surprise, there were a lot of questions about grad school and things along those lines. So I figured I would do another two parter and answer the Grad school questions today and the other questions tomorrow. So this is where I tell you everything about what I’m studying, how I’m doing it, and everything else. And since we have a pretty decent amount of questions, let’s just dive right in!
What are you studying for your Master’s Degree?
This was probably my most asked question. I had a lot of people just wanting to know what I was studying and what I was getting my degree in and I think it’s a fair question. So when I mentioned earlier this month that I was about to start grad school and I was getting everything set up, I talked about how the company I work for has a partnership with a university that is allowing me to get a degree basically for free with their tuition reimbursement program. And instead of them just paying me back once it’s over they pay for it directly and if I fail a class or don’t return my textbooks I will have to pay it back myself. But anyway, because I am getting my Master’s Degree through a specific university they didn’t have a ton of options in terms of programs I could go into and even fewer that I could see myself actually wanting to pursue. So I had to think really hard about what programs I was interested in and what I would want to pursue once I finished. And based on a variety of reasons that I will share probably in a later post or maybe a future question is Psychology.
What did you get your Bachelor’s Degree in?
This was another super popular question that was asked, and again, I kind of expected it at some point. As some of you may know, I got my Bachelor’s Degree in History. No I don’t regret it. No I’m not wishing I had picked something different. Just let me explain. So as I said, the university I am pursuing my degree from doesn’t have a ton of options and History was not one of those options. And honestly I’m okay with that because I picked History when I was in undergrad because I always assumed I would teach or do something along those lines. And that could still be in my future. But when it came time to pick a program and I saw the options available to me, I knew I wanted to pick something that I could really see myself pursuing in the long term and finding a career in. So I picked Psychology because it’s an area that I am not only interested in, but genuinely could see myself pursuing in the long run. Whether that’s being a counselor, a therapist, or a professional in another setting, I just want to do something where I will get to help others and spread awareness.
How long is your program?
I am doing one class at a time, each class is six weeks, and my program has six classes in it. So I will be finished early next year. The program I am in is specifically designed for working adults which is why it’s set up the way it is.
What do you want to do with your degree?
I touched on this a bit earlier, but a Master’s degree in Psychology opens my options up quite a bit. I just started the program, so the really boring answer is I’m not quite sure yet. I am definitely leaning more towards some kind of counseling or therapy, but I’m pretty open to anything that allows me to be an advocate.
Did you have to take the GRE?
I got really lucky and didn’t have to take the GRE. If you want to pursue your Master’s degree and don’t want to take the GRE I highly recommend looking into online schools or schools that don’t require it. They do exist. There are some programs that don’t require it at all. You’d be surprised at how many programs or schools don’t want to judge applicants based on a standardized test. So I would just look into it and get an idea.
Do you ever have imposter syndrome?
All the time. Literally all the time. Even when I wasn’t in grad school I still had imposter syndrome, but especially now that I am pursuing a Master’s degree in a different subject than my Bachelor’s degree. But I have worked to overcome those negative feelings that come with imposter syndrome by reminding myself that it wasn’t an accident that I got in. I didn’t lie on my application. I didn’t cheat the system. I didn’t do anything outside of take advantage of an amazing opportunity. I’m here for a reason and I’m doing what I’m doing for a reason. It’s not me pretending to be somewhere I’m not actually supposed to be. It’s me continuing down the path that was set for me.
Is the workload unbearable?
It’s not really unbearable. It is a lot though because even though I’m only taking one class at a time, the class only lasts six weeks. So I only have six weeks to do everything most people have 15 weeks to do in a typical semester. But it’s honestly not something that I can’t handle and that I won’t be able to accomplish.
How different are graduate school classes from undergraduate?
I only just started, so I don’t really know if I can do this question justice, but I’ll give it my best shot. Honestly right now it’s not too different. I’m sure as time progresses I will be able to point out more specific similarities and differences, but for right now it’s not too different. I just have less time for things because of the way the program is set up.
How do you balance everything?
By using my Google Calendar. I literally schedule everything and it keeps me on track.
What kind of classes are you taking?
Right now I am in Writing In Psychology which is basically how to write in Psychology. What to say, what not to say, formatting, citations, style, and all of that. And this is really helpful because I took one Psychology class in college over five years ago.
What’s your favorite thing about grad school right now?
Just knowing that I am quite literally starting the rest of my life. I am pursing something that is going to broaden my horizons quite a bit and expand the opportunities that I have moving forward. I am just really excited to know that I have an open road in front of me and there really isn’t anything standing in my way.
What’s it like to work full time and be in graduate school?
It was definitely an adjustment, but it’s an adjustment I welcomed. I knew going into it that I was going to be expecting a lot of work and time spent on reading and writing. I kind of knew what things would probably be changing and how I was going to fit everything in. So I tried to make the adjustment as easy as possible. Basically I’m saying it’s not impossible and this is something that’s really important to me so I will always find a way.
How do you stay motivated?
Just knowing that this is something I am extremely lucky and privileged to get to do. It’s a lot of work most days, but I know it will all be worth it and that only good things will come from it.
How did you decide on your program?
Ah, here’s that question I was referring to. Let’s just get into it, shall we? Why did I pick Psychology? First of all, anyone who knows me really well knows that one of my biggest passions in life is helping other people. I always try to find ways to be a resource to someone or find ways to be there for them. So when looking at the program options, Psychology is the one that stood out to me the most. I also like that it’s broad enough to offer some flexibility in the careers I can pursue once I get my degree and I find something that feels more geared towards what I want to do. It wasn’t anything super crazy beyond that.
Do you have any tips for starting grad school?
Really my only tip is to just do it. Figure out exactly what you want to do and then do it. Don’t question it. Don’t make excuses. Because even I had a million reasons not to do it. But there is only one reason that really matters. If you don’t really want to do it, don’t do it. If you do really want to do it, do it. If you aren’t sure or you don’t think you’re ready, it’s okay to wait. Give yourself some time to make sure you are investing in something you really want.
How long did you wait before starting grad school?
So I graduated undergrad in December 2019 and I started grad school in April 2021. So I “waited” almost a year and a half before starting. But I wasn’t really waiting for a specific time period because I wasn’t sure I was going to get a Master’s degree. So really it was just about waiting for the right opportunity to present itself and in the moment I just knew. So it was more waiting for when I felt I was ready and not really about waiting a certain amount of time.
Will you get a PhD?
It’s definitely possible, but at this time I’m just not sure. Like I said, I wasn’t really sure I would get a Master’s before like a month ago and it just worked out that I got to start when I did. But I wouldn’t completely write it off just yet because I have no idea what my future holds.
What do you think is your biggest challenge while pursuing your Master’s Degree?
I think just feeling really out of place because it’s not something I had a ton of knowledge about going into it. But I feel like this program is set up in a way that I can easily get to where I need to be and learn what I need to learn. And the key is that I keep learning even when it’s over because there is always more for everyone to learn and know.
So those were the most popular grad school questions that I got. If you have any other questions relating to grad school or just anything in general feel free to leave them in the comments. Thank you so much for stopping by! I really hope you enjoyed this. Please like it if you did. I will do another grad school Q&A once I have been in the program a little longer and I have more of an idea of what it’s like and what I’m doing moving forward. Don’t forget to follow before you leave if you have not already and I hope to see you next time!