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At work

Ever since high school I have wanted to become a nurse anesthetist.  The plan was to go to college for my bachelors in nursing, work in an ICU for 1 to 2 years, then go for my masters in anesthesia.  This is The Plan that got me through undergrad when I just didn’t think I could go on any more.  It got me through clinicals when my professor would make me cry regularly.  The Plan decided where I would work after graduation since I needed the experience in a large, trauma based ICU.

This January, I will have worked for 1 year in the ICU.  So according to The Plan the next step would be to start applying to grad schools, but that’s the problem.  I’m not applying and I’m not signing up to take the GREs and I’m not even looking.  This is very unlike me.  I’m a go-getter, not one to dilly dally or wait until the last-minute.  I should be over organizing each grad school into regions, rank, and degrees earned. All of which would be in a color coordinated spread sheet. Deadlines are passing me by and I don’t even bat an eye at them.

All of this made me think why?  Why am I not applying or at least looking?  Why haven’t I signed up for a GRE date or even started to seriously study for them?  Why am I standing still and pretending to go through the motions?  Am I afraid?  Afraid I won’t get into a good school, afraid I will let my parents down, or afraid I will fail?  I know these schools are incredibly competitive so not being accepted  the first time is not unheard of or even that rare.  My parents will be proud of anything I do and I know this.  As for failing, well I’ve already done that and lived so no big deal.

I feel the real reason I’m not jumping at grad schools is I don’t even know if that is what I still want.  High school was a long time ago and I have changed a great deal since then. Do I still want this career?  All the things I love about my current job will not carry over to a nurse anesthetist.  Am I ready to fork over $50,000 and 2 years of my life on something I might want to do? Are there other masters programs out there that I would like more? Would I be happier staying where I am?

Now, I have to figure out how and when to tell my parents that grad school is on hold.

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