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Graduate School? Is It the Right Choice for you?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

For most recent college graduates, making plans for their next steps can be as complex as ever. Recent summer 2022 graduate, Ashley Bonhomme, faced many options but ultimately chose to pursue a Master’s in social work. A first-generation college student from Delray Beach, Bonhomme has worked tremendously hard during her undergrad to obtain her Social Work degree. Originally from Haiti, she moved to the U.S in her early years. She took the time to understand the language and the culture while also excelling in her academics. As a current college senior, I am tasked with deciding on post-undergraduate plans, and Ashley has influenced me to consider graduate school in that plan. I had the opportunity to converse with her regarding her choice to go straight to her master’s after her undergraduates.

Her Campus (HC): How come you chose to go to graduate school straight from undergrad?

Ashley Bonhomme (AB): I chose to go to graduate school because I wanted to get my master’s degree as soon as possible. Being a social work major, I qualified for a specific program known as the “Advanced Standing,” and it would allow me to obtain my Master’s in social work in 8 months as opposed to the traditional two-year duration. Also, obtaining my master’s allows me to get licensed, so I decided why not?

HC: What advice would you give current or rising seniors about post-graduate plans?

AB: It’s okay if you don’t want to go to grad school! If you aren’t certain about grad school, don’t feel pressure whatsoever to start! There are plenty of other routes and ways to fill your post-graduate experience. Grad school is an investment both financially and mentally. There is no rush. Besides, you can always come back and pursue that goal if it’s something you want to do in the future, take everything at your own pace!

HC: So far, how has graduate school compared to your undergrad?

AB: I would say the course work of graduate school is significantly different from undergrad. The first week I had about 9 hours of work to complete, just for ONE CLASS! You truly have to manage your time because it can get a bit overwhelming if you wait last minute to complete assignments. Also, classes are not your average 50 minutes anymore. Most of my classes are three hours long, so if you are considering grad school, go ahead and stock up on energy drinks.

HC: Have you ever felt Imposter Syndrome in your collegiate career? How have you overcome those thoughts?

AB: Of Course! Being a first-generation Haitian-American student, I couldn’t help but feel underrepresented vastly compared to the majority. Fortunately, that feeling didn’t last! Not only did I find friends and create my own space here on campus, but I also reassured myself that I belonged here just as much as anyone else.

HC: Would you recommend graduate school to everyone?

AB: I would recommend graduate school to everyone who wants to go to graduate school, LOL. No, but seriously, I know that I wanted to go to grad school way before I even finished my undergraduate career because I wanted to further my studies in social work. That may not always be the case for individuals, and that’s okay. If you feel ready to take on that new academic journey, go for it!

HC: When school gets to be too much, what do you use for motivation? Is there anyone that inspires you?

AB: Honestly, when school gets too much, I allow myself to feel exactly how I feel. I will let myself sulk and take a break away to recharge and come back and be the best version of myself. For motivation, I surround myself with positive affirmations and messages. My love language is words of affirmation, so I try to incorporate that into my daily routine to set the tone of my day. The person who inspires me is my mommy, Lol so corny, I know! No, but seeing her overcome many discrepancies as a single parent who navigated from her home country to provide a better sense of living for my siblings, and I will forever hold weight in my heart. No words in the world could ever measure my gratitude!

Our life can contain many paths, and the choice is in our hands. Ashley’s perspective on graduate school is one of many. Pursuing higher education is an individual’s choice, which doesn’t measure success in one’s life.

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An FSU student majoring in Public Health with a minor in Chemistry