Is grad school right for me?

<p>Last year, I applied to grad school for an MA in IR but only got into my safety school. Therefore, I decided to take a year off and re-apply the next year to try to get into a better school. I volunteered in my year off and it was one of the best decisions in my life. I learned so much from volunteering and enjoyed it thoroughly. I got pretty good at it and even received a certificate of recognition when I was done. </p>

<p>Now, I just started grad school 4 days ago and already I'm finding myself worn out before classes have even started. I'm feeling restless and homesick. I'm not sure if studying, writing papers, and doing research is something I want to go through again. I think part of the reason I wanted to get an MA was because I didn't do particularly well in undergrad and so I thought this would be a way to redeem myself. Also, my parents have always wanted me to get an advanced degree and have pushed me towards it. The coursework in grad school will be even more demanding. I know backing out now would cost me a lot of money because of all the loans and grants that I have been given for grad school. So I don't want to do anything hasty and regret it later. </p>

<p>I'm sure I'll have to think this over very carefully but as of right now, I don't feel like a college student anymore. I feel like stepping out into the real world and working. My program is going to take at least 2 years and that is just way too long to me after spending 5 and a half years in undergrad. What should I do?</p>

<p>Suck it up! Your reasons for going to grad school aren’t great (parents, redemption, etc.) but you’re invested in the process now, and two years is not a big chunk of your life. You will encounter lots of situations throughout life where you have to get “it” done, even when you don’t see the point, don’t like the people, don’t want to waste the time, etc. Look at grad school as practice for the real “real world” to which your volunteer experience did not exposed you.</p>

<p>"I think part of the reason I wanted to get an MA was because I didn’t do particularly well in undergrad "
Good Grief! Those are LOUSY reasons to go to grad school, which IS harder than undergrad! If you REALLY can’t see yourself succeeding in grad school, then quit now, instead of investing more time and $$ in something you have no interest in doing!!</p>

<p>Check with your university to see if there is a refund deadline. If you haven’t already passed it, you can pull out without much financial penalty.</p>

<p>Although I agree with the others that your motivation for attending graduate school was misguided and perhaps destined for this response four days into your program, I’m not sure I’d advocate pulling out now. The first few days of graduate school can be particularly difficult because you’re getting used to a new school and area, new sets of expectations, and a different academic mindset. Every graduate student starts at least slightly intimidated, if not outright terrified, by what they’ll have to do to get their degree. If you stick it out for a semester, you may find that you love it once you reconcile this shift in gears from the non-academic life to the academic. </p>

<p>If what you want to do in life requires this degree, then expend the effort to get the degree. Graduate school is not meant to be easy; it separates the dabblers from the more serious, one reason why a master’s degree is required for certain positions.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>If you’re absolutely sure then you can probably withdraw still and receive a full refund for tuition and fees. You’d only be out your moving expenses.</p>

<p>You should try it for a semester. If you’re not feeling it after a semester, cut your losses and go back. It’s not a bad thing to try, and decide it’s not for you. At least if you try for a semester you’ll be able to say for sure instead of always wondering if you would have enjoyed it more. </p>

<p>Be advised: if you quit it will be much harder to get back in later.</p>