January 29, 2011

How I got here

by flickr user Schlüsselbein2007
As I mulled over the decision on whether to leave grad school or not, I started thinking about what led me to grad school in the first place. During my senior year of college, as I prepared to graduate with a BA in Chemistry, I knew two things: 1) I didn't want to be stuck at a bench doing menial labwork and 2) being a professor was the only other option I knew about. I enjoyed teaching, and I wanted to teach the more "mature" students at the college level as opposed to high school students.

The chemistry faculty at my small liberal arts college had been impressed by my teaching ability and the research I had done for them over the summers, and they strongly encouraged me to attend graduate school. I was completely naive as to what graduate school entailed, but when I learned I would be paid a salary to get an education I thought it would be foolish not to go.

Now, as I look back it's easy to wish that someone would have advised me better, that if they'd only warned me of the daunting task before me I could have saved myself a lot of grief. But I know that I was also incredibly determined and stubborn, and I would not have heeded the warning. In the end I learned a lot about myself, and I don't think I would have learned it any other way. Still I hope that through this blog I can give courage to other students who find themselves depressed and miserable in graduate school so they know that they can make a change for themselves too.

1 comment:

  1. Hello.. this is my story 100%. I am a current graduate student in my 1st year and already considering leaving. I came from a small liberal arts college and wasn't really sure of what it took to become a professor.

    I am preparing to leave with a masters in two years( if i can make it) and go on to medical school.