Monday, October 12, 2009

Grad School…wtf?

Why do I feel like grad school is for rich folks?  Why do I feel like I’m going to fail because I’m too different from the common demographic? I’m going to be candid because I need to get this off my chest.

I have been in grad school now for 10 months. I’m about half-way through this program and yet I feel like I am being robbed, lied to and straight up, bamboozled. When I was an undergraduate, I had to work to make it through school and take care of an ailing parent. I was told by a professor I wasn’t going to make it in the field unless I was willing to put up my mums and devote my life to everything and anything related to the field. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do that. Now, I am wondering if that was true…

So far in grad school I have no problem with the curriculum. I have been clocking straight A’s since I’ve been here( and big deal because a C in grad school is failing anyway). The classes are not killing me and I anticipate more challenges as the curriculum progresses…My largest challenge is the end of the program. The internship site and subsequent job search. I have not been employed since graduating college. My biggest deficiency has been my varied work history and lack of employment related to the field of human services. While I was in school, I was ( and still am) the only person in my family that can work. I take care of a disabled parent. I have to work something, anything, to manage, to take care of business. I haven’t been able to do that since graduating…Well, I actually wasn’t able to work during my  last two semesters, but I don’t count that 9 month period.

I have been blamed for not volunteering during undergrad to get valuable work experience. I wasn’t able to…I was paying for school and all other household expenses. I had to take the max amount of classes to graduate before I couldn’t manage tuition anymore. I had to also be cognizant of another person, less adult protective services gets involved for neglect. I had to bust my ass, for a degree that was for someone who could essentially work for free  to be able to work for money. The degree now isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. And I’m left in debt.

I was told I had to sacrifice to be able to work in my field of choice. I think loosing your home, your car, your credit and your money to be able to devote yourself to a dream you cannot accomplish is a pretty big sacrifice. Unfortunately, no one really cares about that.

Now I find myself in a similar situation. I have to gather significant experience in order to finish my program, that is, I have to plan to work for free, in order to work for free(internship), in order to work for real. I don’t know how I can realistically manage…I don’t have the resources to finish school…I don’t have the resources to be OUT of school either. I don’t know what to do…Possibly doing a program that gives me experience while in school is realistic…but starting all over again… Meanwhile, I feel like this whole, “Go to school and everything will be okay” is such a bag of bull. Apparently, for some people, this is not the case….

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