Why Graduate School is much cooler than high school life?

Well, I've been itching to make this post last year but due to my busy schedule I failed to do so. And now, I managed to squeeze blogging between my research works since it's a holiday. By the way, HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!! It's the year of the wood horse and I was born on the year of the horse (cross-fingers), hoping that this would be a lucky year for me.

Okay, going back to the topic...why graduate school is much cooler than high school life? Why do you think so? Here's my personal experience on being a graduate student.

As I said on my previous posts, I am currently having my Masters in Psychology. I am on my way through the 2nd semester and I must say that it's really a good stepping stone to advance in my career in psychology.

A lot of people say that high school life is the coolest years in one's academic life. Or maybe the most memorable one but academically speaking, currently, being on the graduate school is the coolest experience. Why?

1. You pay your own tuition fees. Yeah, isn't it cool that you pay your tuition from your own hard work and not from the pocket of your parents? You work 5-6 days a week and you have to save a part for your books and tuition fees. Well, being in the graduate school needs finances. It made me realize that budgeting money is really hard. And that's the cool part to learn on your own, how to earn money and save some for your education.

2. You learn while you're working. Being an employee or a boss is both difficult and irksome most of the time. But what can we do? We need to earn money to live. As a working girl, I managed to breathe some fresh air through my graduate school classes. Working can be repetitive and tiring, but with something to look forward to every week, like a masteral class is a great way to relieve stress and learn new things.

3. You get to socialize with a wide range of classmates. Unlike when we we're in high school or in college, at grad school you have a variety of age range to choose from. I have a classmate who is 58 years old yet she still want to learn psychology and finish a masters degree. Then, I also have classmates who are moms and dads but they still find time to attend school. I also have classmates who are single parents who tried their best to pursue their degrees. And there's also my age level and some who are younger than me who are craving to finish the program as soon as possible. With different age level, class discussions are always interesting. You get to listen to different perspective from different people of different ages.

4. You can eat during classes. I don't know if this applies to all graduate schools, but based on my experience this is one of the reason why grad school is cool. When we're in college we used to eat secretly. But on graduate school you can eat and drink coffee while the class is going, given that you should not make unnecessary noises to distract others. And that you still listen to whoever is discussing. Seriously speaking, eating during classes helps me to concentrate more and prevent me from dozing off while on classes.

5. You do everything on your own. Graduate school gives a lot of freedom to its students. Since everyone is working we are given enough time to complete assignments and other requirements. So, pressure is very minimal. You can read your lessons in advance or not listen to classes but make sure that you are prepared for surprises quizzes or recitation. Graduate school classes requires more class participation that paper works. But of course, if you're on a thesis program, massive paper works are expected and to remind you, you do all class requirements like reports, reaction papers, research paper individually. No help from others. You learn everything on your own. It's up to you how to combine all things being discussed inside the class, the things you have read from reference books and the input of your classmates.

6. Lastly, being on the graduate school is something that you should be proud of. Hey! This time going to school is not dictated by your parents or the society but it's your own choice. The choice to pursue your dreams and to advance academically. Like I said, taking a masters degree is a stepping stone to fulfill your goals in life.

Like on my part, as a Clinical Psychology graduate, I can advance on my career in psychology by doing two things. It's either I have a psychology-related job or pursue my masters to become a psychologist. Now, we are given three choices. First choice: to start a work in the psychology field, like being a psychometrician, an HR, a guidance counselor or a Psychology instructor. Second choice: to pursue a masters degree and eventually a doctoral degree to earn the title of a real psychologist. Last choice: do your best to pass the upcoming Licensure exam for Psychometrician and Psychologist.

Now, I chose to start a career in Psychology as a psychometrician and to take my Masters in Psychology so I can be of most help to my employer. Having a masters degree gives you an edge over others. So, if you're still not working why not enroll on a masteral program in psychology.

I hope I've answered the question, why being on the Graduate School is cooler than high school life? I think being a graduate student is a way to be independent, to relieve you from work stress and to achieve your objectives in life. So, if you want to take that first step towards being a psychologist, taking a masters degree is a good choice.



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