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Applying to Graduate School: Figuring it All Out

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

For years, I have been unsure about my future post-graduation. I didn’t know if I wanted to go straight to graduate school or take some time off in between. As the time to apply came closer and closer, I decided to apply. Even if I decided not to go, I still wanted the option available to me. I applied to only two schools, as I knew I wanted to live at home, and there were only two that were close enough for me to commute. I applied to Bridgewater State and Worcester State. The application process was different for each school. As I started to take them on, I became overwhelmed. 

For both schools, I had to write my personal statement. I struggled with this for a decent amount of time. I knew what I wanted to write about, but I wanted to make it perfect. I started my paper in October and didn’t completely finish it until the end of December. I constantly felt like there was something I needed to change to make it better. I asked five people to read it over and read it out loud multiple times. Having various sets of eyes helped me to fix problems I didn’t see myself. I also read a friend’s personal statement to help me understand what other individuals were doing with their own papers. 

I also had to send my transcript to the schools. I struggled with getting my transcript to Worcester State. It says that you just need to pay three dollars and UMass will send it over. The day after the deadline to apply, I received an email saying that they hadn’t received my transcripts. My heart stopped; I wasn’t sure how this could have happened. I was lucky that they had given me a few days to try to get them sent in again. I realized that if I were ever to do that again, I would have submitted my transcripts earlier to make sure there weren’t any issues by the deadline time. 

Bridgewater State had a two-step process. I had to submit my personal statement, and if they liked what I sent, they would request a virtual interview with me. I was not sure when I would get the email about their decision, and one day, I realized I had missed this email. I was supposed to respond to the email by the day prior to when I saw it. I panicked and emailed them immediately to see if I could still do it. They completely understood and allowed me to attend. I started to come up with interview questions and created answers that I practiced reading as I prepared. When I entered the call, I was faced with the entire graduate board for my major. I began to shake, but I had practiced the questions they asked, so I had my answers ready. 

A few weeks later, I heard from both schools, and I got into both. I want to go, but I am still wondering what is best for me. I want to get an education, and I know it will better set me up for the future. However, it is another two years of school, and I am wondering if all of this schooling is going to cause me to miss out on the freedom of life. I also will not be able to have a steady income when I go, as it is very time-consuming. A lot of my friends aren’t going to graduate school, so as they continue to gain money, I will be continuing to put myself in more debt. Either way, I know whatever happens will be what was meant to be.

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Sydney Dion

U Mass Amherst '23

Communication Disorders Major