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These are my reasons. What are yours?



I think of myself as a lifelong learner, but deciding to go back to grad school wasn't a light decision. When I decided to take the leap in 2016, I was six years into a career as an officer in the U.S. Army and was hesitant to disrupt a steady paying job and what I consider purposeful work. Still, I had a list of reasons in my head for wanting and needing to leave the Army and return to grad school that are probably similar to what most people consider when they're making the potentially life-changing decision to go back to school. 

My reasons (don't laugh) - I hated getting up early for my job in the military (I had to be at work by 6am most mornings), I kinda hated wearing a uniform every day, and I wanted more control over where I lived (you don't really get to pick in the military). Basically, I just needed a change of pace and a different career. I also just like being in class and learning new stuff. College campuses have always felt like a magical place to me. I've told myself I have no reason to ever need to get a PhD, but I kinda want to just so I can be in the classroom again? Maybe it's because my parents didn't go to college and growing up I never really heard about what it was like to be a college student. Speaking of, one of my other reasons for going back to school and getting a Master's Degree was to make my family proud and bring knowledge back into my community in an effort to impact change. These are just a few of my reasons.

So, I’m curious --what are your reasons for deciding to go to grad school? Comment below to reveal all. 

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4 months ago, I took a big decision in my life. Actually, I turned 44 and  felt it was time to get early retirement, even my salary will drop by 30% but I don't care. I don't see any reason to work 8 hours a day for just 30% of my salary. Moreover, after years of doing the same thing every day, I felt there was nothing I can learn from my job , nothing at all.  For that,  the best thing I believed was  to go back to grad school (I am still waiting for acceptances from several institutions) where I can learn new things, be a " true learner". By the way I am an interpreter and worked with US  Army at NTC and JRTC. 

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I was always very curious and got bored anything which had the tiniest bit of monotonicity. Further, the life of an academic seemed amazing as each day they learn something new and chase after the unknown... Thus, this life seemed a perfect fit for me and I decided to pursue this dream.... :)

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For me, studying was the one of the few things that ticked. I love studying, learning new things, doing research and anything short of that is a miserable life for me. 

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I honestly cannot imagine doing anything else.

I had a poor experience with education before college. My state was ranked 50th in the US for educational quality. I was bored, unchallenged, disaffected, and generally did not care at all about school. In my senior year of college, I had professor who received a PhD in a field I didn't know existed. His class exposed me to a form of critical inquiry that catered to how I like to think. Furthermore, scholarship has enriched areas of my life, culture, and identity. It's lead me towards self-fulfillment I cannot find anywhere else. Ever since I knew a PhD was possible, I have not second guessed this pursuit.

Edited by fossati
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I cannot imagine any other option for myself that would make me as happy as grad school would. I've always been a curious person and already dedicate so much of my time and energy to researching my topic of interest. It's just the natural next step. As a first-gen student I never foresaw myself taking this path, and I still feel a little self-concious telling people I want my PhD, but I really cannot imagine any alternative. 

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I cannot imagine a day without studying, or learning something new. My day would be incomplete. 

Might sound a bit exaggerated, but, I have always wanted to become a scientist, a researcher.. right from my school till date, the passion remains the same. And, I'm glad about it. 

All the best everyone, and be proud of yourself. 

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I want to be a professor and provide as many students with good and fair education as I can. PhD is a step towards that. If all I wanted to do was just engage in lifelong learning, I think I could do that even without a PhD.

Edited by BeanWater
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In my 20s I wasn't really able to work often because of seizures. During that time, I would go to the college library in my town and just dream of all the things the students were learning and opportunities they were moving into by being in school. It was beautiful. When I was 26, I had brain surgery to prayerfully stop the seizures, in which they did and I've been seizure free 10 years now, I've gone back to school twice now for my associates and bachelors degrees and I can't get away from the library and the classroom. There's just something majestic about it that keeps reeling me in.  

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