Life after your Master’s degree?

overeducated

“You can never be overeducated.” This quote has been on my mind lately a lot. I had my official graduation ceremony last week (although I’ve had my papers for a good few months now) and it was awesome and sad at the same time. Awesome because yay! Finally did it! And sad because that’s one chapter that is now closed.

One of the alumnis was talking about moving on from being a student. I could totally relate to her when she spoke about ‘a void’-  when you finally find yourself with a lot of time in your hands after you’ve done your work. She talked about the dangers of filling that void with work and how important it is to find a balance between life and work.

Now, I must admit, I’ve been crazy busy this spring. Finishing my thesis, my conference presentation, new job etc. I’ve been definitely filling a void with more work. In addition I’ve hardly have any time to see my friends as often as I would have liked to. But on the other hand, I’ve really enjoyed the work I’ve done. I feel like it has been worthwhile for my future career too.

The main reason for having my doubts about the phd program is probably the feedback I’m getting. I’ve no doubt that it wouldn’t be hard, but I’m absolutely sure I could make it. I realize that getting a phd will probably hurt my chances of getting a regular teaching job (“what would a phd be doing in a regular school, that would be an obvious concern”), it will prevent me from making money for 4-5 years (“with your student loans, do you think it’s wise?”), it won’t get me more money later (“Will you be paid better?” Um… No… Then why do it?”) and apparently “the actual start of my life” will be even further away (“isn’t it time to just settle down already, find a husband and have kids?”…You got me there: I’m just single and bored and when the right man walks into my life I will gladly stop this nonsense. Oh, and I should probably get a hobby.). But I do think there’s a bit of truth there too: am I going to find myself at 34 alone with a fancy degree?

So I’ve come to a conclusion that a phd is not wise decision if you consider money, free time, sanity and finding a husband. It is a wise decision if you’re interested in education beyond your own classroom. I know some people will be disappointed if I choose to continue to study instead of just being grateful of what I’ve achieved already, but how disappointed will I be with myself if I choose to listen to other people instead of at least trying how far I can go.

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