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Lara Rosales

March 10, 2021

Have you recently started thinking about going back to college to get your master’s degree? This article is for you!

I graduated college two years ago and for a long time I did not want to think about going back to get my master’s degree. Even though my undergraduate experience was great, there were a lot of things in my life stopping me from pursuing any further studies. I felt like I needed the time to figure out where else I wanted to go with my career and explore my options. Recently, I have started thinking about going back to an academic setting and obtaining an MFA. Am I crazy considering the current events? Yes, maybe.

As lockdown ended and new career opportunities happened for me, I knew it was time to think about getting a master’s degree–not quite ready to go after a PhD yet. But I was–still am–terrified to pursue something when everything is so uncertain, and no one really knows how classes will go this next semester. What if things never go back to “normal"? What impact will that have on any prospect students? What should my next move be?

I decided to quiet down my anxiety by exploring the MFA options near me. Doing the appropriate research and learning more about possible universities you would like to attend is a helpful way to understand the possibilities in front of you. If you are like me, you will want to have an effective plan–and as many backup plans as possible. So, my recommendation is to begin analyzing what kinds of programs you would like to participate in and what colleges are offering what you are looking for.

Once you have narrowed down the kinds of programs you want, you will need to figure out what requirements they have. Undergraduate and graduate studies have different requirements and they vary depending on the college you are looking at. In my case, many graduate programs require a GRE and that is something I do not have because it was not part of my undergraduate program. However, there are plenty of schools that do not ask for it and offer courses that meet my expectations. Adjust your qualifications to the options you find nearby.

As graduates, your decision will be based on many factors. Most of us need to think about our job and how to fit studying into our already busy schedules. Another concern is tuition. How much will it cost? Will my salary be enough to cover my expenses? Will I need financial aid? Are there any scholarships available? Luckily, admission offices are great at answering these questions and helping you create a plan that you can afford. An option you may have through your work is your company paying part of your fees. Many jobs encourage their employees to further their education by offering to pay a percentage of their tuition. Make sure you do your research and find out if this is viable for you.

The biggest decision you will have to make is whether you are ready or not. Taking the next step in your education can be hard considering your other obligations. We are afraid it will take up too much of our time or we will not be able to afford it. But the truth is that if you are ready to get your master’s or your PhD, nothing can stop you. That is why it is particularly important to take the time to weigh your options and choose the best one for you. Do not let anyone tell you, you are any less for not furthering your studies. When you want it, if you want it, you will do it.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to get your master’s degree? I think I am.

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