By Nyasha Stowell
SEATTLE—As graduation approaches many students feel stress about their next step. Unable to find jobs, some students may turn to graduate school.
Gurleen Cheema is one senior who says that she is heading to graduate school after completing her Bachelor’s degree. She is seeking a medical degree so that she can fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor.
She says, “Pretty much I decided really early on. Now I’m like I can’t turn around.”
Before even getting into medical school she has to put many hours into studying for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). A single test in April will determine whether she is able to get into a medical school. With senior level courses it isn’t always easy to make time for extra studying.
“It’s essentially another class that you’re having to take and you have to memorize but you can’t forget this stuff like you can forget other stuff for other
classes,” she explains.
Gurleen may be one senior who actually needs to attend a graduate school in order to fulfill her dreams, but some students have other reasons for choosing graduate school.
Adviser Tonya Brown says, “I think probably in the last five to ten yearsish definitely graduate school has been a more popular option, probably related to the economy and sort of the rough job market that has happened in the last couple of years.”
While schools try to give students resources that will help them to make a decision such as advisers and career centers not all students look for help. Without assistance they may choose to go on to graduate school because they simply don’t know what else to do.
“Other students I think do it because it’s comfortable because they don’t know what other options are out there and so they just want to delay the inevitable of making a decision,” Tonya Brown notes.
Choosing whether to go on into a career or head to graduate school is a difficult decision for many seniors. By trying to get a job students will be thrown straight into the real world. Graduate school may serve to delay this eventual decision, but doesn’t always mean students can get a better job after graduating. Going to graduate school may also mean taking out numerous student loans. For this reason choosing to go to graduate school can be risky.
No matter what student’s reason for going to graduate school is these graduating seniors won’t see an end to the stress they’re feeling. After graduation they’ll be plunged back into a world of schoolwork and studying. Graduation in the fall will not only mark the end of undergraduate education but the beginning of an even more rigorous level of study.