Why I am Glad I Dropped out of Grad School

This is something that is a little hard for me to write. I briefly touched upon this in a previous post, but I wanted to go into a little more in detail and discuss my reasons behind it. First off, I wanted to start off by saying I am on for higher learning. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree and it is something I am very proud of and don’t regret. I also support other people in their academic quests if that is something they truly want to do. My story is this: I did sign up for graduate school in mental health counseling and left after one semester. Why, you may ask?

Well, I started off being very excited to enter grad school. I was pumped my first day and I had all my materials organized. I became captivated the first few weeks. I loved learning about patient care and the different theories related to psychology and how it relates to clients. Then a few months went by and my attitude started to change. I was very appreciative of my teacher who was very frank with us and explained that we probably would experience counselor “burn-out” and one day have to quit the profession and go into teaching. What?!? What if you can’t find a job teaching and can’t do counseling anymore? Do you just work in retail until something better comes along? She was also very honest about the bureaucracy of counseling and the endless piles of paperwork that would follow. There were a few other things that raised some red flags but I won’t go into them now. Another burden was the price. I was going into a very moderately priced school and was only taking one class yet I paid almost $2,000 after fees and tuition. I made some calculations and I realized I would be well over $50,000 in debt by the time I got my degree. This would be in addition to the other $12,000 I already have in student loans from my undergrad school. When lack of funds meets waning desires, then swift decisions must be made. I did not sign up for a second semester and hang up my academic gloves…at least for now. I needed to be absolutely sure of what I wanted to do before I dropped that kind of cash (er…loans) to finance it.

Its been almost 6 months since I made that fateful decision, and I thought I would be much sadder/anxious for quitting…but I am not. I guess when you make a choice like that, you feel almost liberated somehow. It wasn’t that I regret going at all. I feel very grateful that I had the chance to go and at least see what it was like. I now won’t have that awful nagging feeling of what grad school was like-at least for counseling. I have started looking more outside the box and looking into other things. I am interested in marketing and promotions. I do this in my current job and I enjoy it. I have not ruled out doing something in psychology but it would have to be the right fit for myself and the company. I have not even ruled out going back to grad school but it would have to be for something else. I have thought about going back and getting my MBA but I have heard mostly negative things. We shall just have to wait and see.

Mostly I wanted to write this because I am so tired of getting asked from friends and family as to why I left school-like I have just screwed up my life forever for not doing something that I don’t have interest in anymore. Should I indenture myself with even more debt just to say I got another degree? I do not want to end up with ginormous piles of debt just to please other people. It is yet again another something I had to decide to take control of my finances.

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