Buy this book if you are even thinking of going to graduate school

Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Graduate School, by Adam Ruben

Enough said.


Rachael said…
I also highly recommend reading through the archives of PHD Comics.

Does this book convince its readers that grad school is a terrible idea? Can I buy it for my mom so she'll get off my back?
I love PHD Comics, Rachael! This book is more funny than serious, but it does make some serious points. I don't know if it will be the best rebuttal for your mother, but if you really need one of those, there are quite a few studies on the web lately about the negative aspects of graduate school. I tell my own students that if they can get fully funded, it might be worth it, but anything less than that and they really need to rethink. But it depends on what you want and what your plans are.

Why does your mother want you to go, and what field does she want you to get a degree in?
I'd also like to add that nothing is either/or, at least not with most schools. You can always take a couple of CLASSES as a postbacculaureate student--many state schools allow that. That will help you suss out whether you truly want to go and see what it's like. But it doesn't sound like that's a dream for you, and if it isn't, you certainly shouldn't do it to please your mother!

I know it may seem on here that I regret my decision to go; I talk a lot about the cons of grad school. There are some positives, particularly if you're fully funded, and/or have a spouse or family member willing to pay for it. Ultimately, I don't regret the work I've done and going, because I made the decision I felt was right at the time and I was following what I thought then was the right path. But at some point, my path shifted, and then I began seeing things differently. But I have to believe that everything happens for a reason, and that 20 years from now, I'll look back and say "yes, it was the right thing to do." For that, you have to listen to your gut, because really only your gut can tell you what to do.
Rachael said…
My mom would love for me to get a Ph.D. in literature, which I feel would overqualify me for most positions in the field, and I really don't want to teach--my best option is probably to talk to her and give her a clear understanding of exactly what my goals are. And I'm pretty sure she just wants me to go for her own bragging rights. Thanks for your advice!

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