That Time Grad School Seemed Like A Good Idea

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That Time Grad School Seemed Like a Good Idea

Take a moment to think about the happiest moment of your life. I’m not talking about that Christmas at age 7 when your mom surprised you with a PlayStation after you convinced yourself you weren’t getting one. No, I’m talking about the happiest moment of your adult life. Maybe it was when you got that long-overdue promotion all the while knowing that overachieving-Victoria likely spent the afternoon crying at her desk, disappointed. Maybe your happiest moment came when you finally nailed the solid 8 who lives down the hall of your apartment building. Sounds risky to me, developing relations with a neighbor, but you do you. Perhaps the moment you’re thinking of is when your boyfriend of eight years finally popped the question and you’re not dreading planning a wedding at all (open bar, please).

As for yours truly, my happiest moment without a doubt would be walking out of a college classroom for the last time, knowing I never have to take a Final again. Super-exciting life I’ve lived, right? Of course, a Final on Microsoft’s business strategies in no way, shape, or form play any role in my day-to-day operations of crushing some spreadsheets, but none of that mattered in May 2014. I vividly remember telling myself whilst bounding down that empty stairwell “you never have to go to school, or take a test, or do homework ever again.” What a feeling.

The sheer joy all graduates feel is, of course, short-lived. You quickly realize the “real world” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The 180 days prior to paying for that wonderful education disappear, and you begin to feel anxiety like never before. Somehow, despite all of the aforementioned feelings associated with becoming a post-grad, I had the thought, “why not get my MBA?” I’m here to tell you: DON’T.

As with any life-changing decision, you begin to weigh the pros and cons. Maybe you’re into T-charts on yellow legal pad, I don’t know you. Whatever the process, the end result is the same; you do whatever it takes to believe this is a good idea. Mentally, I began thinking of all that could come from obtaining my MBA. I began to think how nice that would look in my email signature. But do I need a Masters of Business Administration? Absolutely not. I’ve already mastered this AutoSum function, what more do I need? This, dear friends, is where I should have stopped. You’re probably asking yourself why go through with it if you don’t need an MBA? You see, I sit in an office working roughly 4 of the 8.5 hours I’m clocked in. I come home to an empty apartment in a new city and most nights don’t get off the couch until I move to the bed (exciting life, I know). It’s safe to say I have plenty of free time. I knew I could finish most of the coursework while at work and still not affect my normal Xbox and Netflix evening routine, especially considering I was only taking one pre-req class in the first semester. Worst case scenario, I spend an hour a week outside of the office on schoolwork. Sounds reasonable enough. What’s another $1000 of student loans anyways?

The semester began full of bliss and confidence. For the first time in my college career, I felt prepared. The syllabus was printed, all required materials purchased and organized in a single binder. Queue Spongebob’s “I’m Ready” hit music. This is one single class, not even truly graduate-level, that I, a working professional, should breeze through. Not the case. Suddenly, I’m being burdened by additional work to help colleagues dig out of piles of papers cluttering their desk. That Thursday afternoon reserved for this week’s homework assignment? Special work project. Now I’m faced with the moral dilemma of choosing between doing homework at work, or doing actual work at work. Mindless job tasks that used to take 15 minutes to finish are now taking two and a half hours. You haven’t seen speedy Alt + Tab’s until you’re switching from this week’s lecture on YouTube to a blank Excel spreadsheet.

This is more than I signed up for. I have enough stress in my life worrying why that Bumble match isn’t messaging. Do you really think I can handle the daily Blackboard check if I refuse to even open my banking app? Weekday afternoons are meant for browsing the waiver wire not, not educating myself on how you can diversify unsystematic risk away with 30 stocks in your portfolio. How is that helpful? Helpful is knowing which bar will have the best specials when the Blues play. Sundays are scary enough without taking exams. Am I expected to take said exam on Saturday, Professor? Yeah, like I’ll risk missing another Tennessee-Texas A&M thriller.

What I’m trying to tell you, stranger, is this: don’t fool yourself thinking Grad school is a good idea. Life right now, as dull as it may seem, will only get worse with any additional college you enroll in. Bettering yourself is taking time to appear at a happy hour around the block from the office, or hitting the links one last time before winter. Or going to the gym, if you’re into that sorta thing. More college, however, will only be the death of you.

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