Do I Have to Join the Real World?

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Making Your Parents Happy (Grad school)

Admit it, you know it’s going to be much easier telling your parents that you want to go straight to law school instead of teaching English in Central America. And there’s not only pressure from your parents; there’s your friends and “that kid” that has been gung-ho about grad school since freshman orientation. You may be doubting it, but consider these three reasons before you skip to the next section:

1. “Just get it done with.” While you might hear this all the time and shrug it off, there is some sense in considering our current situation (aka the economy). It might be better to enter the job market in a few years having a degree that might help you skip the often mindless work of an entry-level job.

2. Opens More Options: Many graduate programs offer fellowships (some of which are abroad) that expose you to new “learning” experiences. Many grad programs also partner with businesses to offer you internships while you are taking classes, which could give you a leg up in getting a job later on. Professor Stilens, of the English department at Boston University, reinforced these once-in-lifetime options. “A great part of our MFA program is where students do independent study for three months in any country of their choosing.  Students report that it’s often a life-changing experience not available elsewhere," said Stilens.

3. You still get to be a student: Listen to Dom Mazzetti, he knows best.

Convincing Your Parents It’s Okay (Doing something else)

If you’re done with school and are ready for something else, here are three possible choices for you:

1. Make that MONEY: Go out and get a job. Whether you’ve already signed with a bank in NY or you’re still looking to land that job in California, this is your first step into adulthood. Your life will change – you will have responsibilities other than doing your laundry and (occasionally) going to class. This is the real deal, but this option might be the most exciting choice for you.

2.  Work abroad: Maybe you never got a chance to study abroad during your undergrad, but you always wanted to. Well, consider something like Kalu Yala, a program in Panama where you work in schools teaching English (while also learning a lot of the native language). There’s tons of programs all over the world, and will certainly change your outlook on life.

3. Start a business: This idea might have not even entered your mind at all, but haven’t you always had an idea that you thought would make a cool product or service? You don’t have to invent the next iPhone to create a sustainable business, and there’s nothing wrong with starting small. These days, one can create a website and sketches for a new product within a couple of days. And this option doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your other plans of grad school, working or traveling. Just dedicate half of your summer to working full-time at whatever venture you enjoy, and see where it goes. Either way, it’s sure to be a growing experience for you.

So what will it be? If you haven’t realized this yet, mother does not always know best. Go out and create an adventure for yourself, wherever that may be.

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