Overwhelmed With Grad School Applications?/by Marquisha Mathis
Are you ready for the next step, but you don’t know where to start? Attending and completing undergraduate study is so much simpler than graduate school because when we get to high school we’re already thinking about where we want to spend our next four years. However, grad school is a different matter.
When we come to college, it’s already hard enough sometimes trying to figure out what we want to major in and spend the rest of our lives doing. Now, we have to think about whether or not we want to further our education upon graduation.
Many of us don’t really know if grad school is for us. The ones who are thinking about it are the ones who know for a fact they want their master’s degrees, or those who may be going to other schools such as medical or law school.
I know for me, I’ve been thinking about grad school for a while, and I know where I want to go. I’ve done a deep dive into the program I want to get my master’s degree from.
However, some others haven’t gotten that far. They have no clue what the next chapter is in their lives, and by the time they think about it, it’s close to time for them to graduate.
It requires a lot of research to make sure that it’s the right choice for you. But when you’re backed into a corner on where to look, it can be overwhelming.
There are a few steps to determine when deciding the next phase of your life. One of the most important is where you want to go. Do you choose to continue your education at the university of your undergrad, or do you want to spread your wings somewhere else?
This is definitely a big step in the process. You may be nervous about moving away from home, but it could also be very exciting to go somewhere different and see some new things.
Next, what type of program is it? Now, this may seem like an easy step, but believe it or not you have to know where you will get the best experience. What is the best university where you will succeed in getting your degree? Taylor Ormon, Associate Director of Career Services, said, “It’s important to know why you want to go to that school, and what this program would do for you.”
I believe student life is very important as well. You care about student involvement and organizations on campus. You want to see the type of things that the faculty and staff take pride in.
Cost of attendance is a big one also. We aren’t trying to be in more debt than we already are.
Also, what are the professors like, and what do they want for you? It’s important to attend a school where not just you, but your professors also want you to do great.
Lastly, we need diversity. Every voice in this world deserves to be heard and have the opportunity to attend a university where the faculty, staff, and professors are all about diversity inclusion.
Now, this is where we could use a little more help from our advisors, faculty, staff, and the people in Career Services. I think when we first step onto the college campus, we need to be thinking about the future after undergrad. When we’ve settled in, we need to be thinking early on if grad school is in our future.
We would just like the guidance of these authority figures to help us out, so that when it’s time, we’re not surprised by the deadlines or overwhelmed by what’s to come.
Senior Cranesha Roberson is approaching her last year in the social work department and is now navigating her new path in picking a grad school.
“I had no idea where to start, or what to look for specifically,” she said. “I decided to reach out to my academic counselor Dr. Lawson who gave me some tips on narrowing down my grad school choices. She said to pick a school that has a mission and a purpose you agree with, and pick a school that cares about professionalism and academic achievement.”
The application process is a little more tedious than undergrad. There’s your resume, transcripts, recommendation letters, essays, and the GRE if your school requires it; and you have to start putting this together months before the application is due so that you have everything you need for it.
We have to begin thinking about them, and things would be a little more smoother if we just had an earlier start.