I Dream of Graduate School

The main thing on the forefront of my mind tonight is graduate school. I only just finished my freshman year of college, but now that the idea of graduate school has entered my mind, it just won’t go away.

The idea of pursuing a graduate degree both excites and intimidates me. I know the level of work will be brutal and challenging, but the idea that I could pursue an advanced degree in a subject I love absolutely overjoys me.

I don’t suppose I’ve mentioned on here what I’m in school for. You’ll scratch your head when you find out. I’m majoring in comparative literature and minoring in Turkish. For the uninitiated, a comparative literature major is basically a major in translation. And you probably think (as many do) that Turkish is a strange language to learn – but I can help it. Turkey is my area of interest and I love the culture and history.

If I went to graduate school I would be pursuing a PhD in Ottoman studies. Without going into too much historical detail, the Ottoman Empire is what existed before modern-day Turkey existed. And during the reign of the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman Turkish was spoken – which is now a dead language. That is what I’d go to grad school to learn. I want to be a translator of Ottoman Turkish.

The only problem with this dream is money. I’m going to be $100,000 in debt just from getting my undergraduate degree. My top choice for graduate school would then set me back about $200,000 in debt. That’s an amount of money I can’t even comprehend. Of course, the college’s website did say that they heavily subsidize PhD students and I might be eligible for financial aid, so maybe its not all bad. But still, accruing any more debt other than what it will take to get my undergrad degree scares me. Especially because my parents said that if I went to grad school, I’d be on my own with money.

I cannot even describe how much anxiety that thought causes me.

The question is, would whatever my job be after grad school be able to pay back my loans?? I have no idea. I have no idea what the market is for an advanced degree like that or how much I might earn.

And I guess that’s the leap of faith you have to take to pursue a dream. I’m already doing that now with my current degree. How far am I willing to go to get what I want??

I guess it’s good that I’ve started thinking about graduate school so early in my university career. It gives me plenty of time to make sure this is what I want, and to also bolster my application with extracurriculars.

Oh I would be amazing if I could make this dream come true.

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About emilleejoyce

I am a yoga alliance 200 hour certified yoga teacher whose hobbies include growing cacti and succulents, cooking vegan food, and bicycling. My day job is in academic publishing.

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