So in keeping with the name of this cleverly titled blog which will hopefully actually be recurring enough during my last few weeks at Gannon to warrant the snappy title, I’m going to cut the chase. No filler, as it were. As a senior in my final semester, I’ve had to think a lot about where my future is taking me. At the moment it’s taking me home to good ol’ Pittsburgh to pursue graduate school. Which, if you know me, was not even near a possibility as recently as a year ago.

Get the degree, find a job, and start paying off those loans. That was the plan for me much like most it is for many students. But Gannon finally got to me last semester. I finally was forced to think about what I actually wanted from my future (gasp). This little epiphany came during the course of my thesis class. During class we started actually looking at jobs in our respective fields and I mean actually looking at them. Like, figuring out what kind of qualifications were necessary and what we reasonably needed to do next to get those jobs.

It was then that I realized I didn’t want just any entry level job, I wanted something meaningful; something actually related to what I had been studying, even enjoying (though it took a while to admit) during my undergraduate studies in Journalism. So I had to actually consider more school, (and yes, more money spent) if I wanted to take this whole “pursue a job doing the thing I spent four years studying ” thing seriously.

I can wholeheartedly recommend to you that if you are even thinking of grad school at all, even just a little bit in the back of your mind, talk to someone in graduate admissions just to see what it would take and if the idea is worth pursuing. Talk to your adviser. They have some insight into all this as well. Actually, just talk to anyone who you trust. Put the idea out there. If you’re thinking about it, say it out loud to another person. That way someone else knows you have an interest and can provide motivation or reminders if necessary. If for example, one of your professors knows you were considering grad school, they may send you any relevant information that they comes across to help with your decision.

At least entertain the idea a little earlier than I did. I made the decision on a whim, pretty quickly and lucky for me I had time to pull together everything I needed to get into a good school and program. But for a big decision like this, you really should give yourself a little more time.

But this isn’t some plug saying that everyone should be going to graduate school. It’s just a reminder that your future sneaks up on you. Even if you’re just beginning your journey at Gannon, you’re going to be at the end of the line where I am before you know it. I don’t mean that in the scary  “pull yourself together because the future is barreling towards your like a freight train” sort of way. I mean it in the “friendly reminder from a senior who just now is putting all the pieces together” sort of way. Put yourself in a position to be ahead of the game when you’re a standing where I am and everything is coming at you at once.  It never hurts to get started on your soul searching early.