Dear 100 Hour Board,
When during your academic life did you decide to go to graduate school as opposed to entering the labor market? How did you make that decision? Did you have to choose between a good job offer and continuing your education?
I knew I wanted to go to graduate school when I realized I wanted a career that required graduate school. That was at the beginning of my last year of my undergrad. I just kind of made the decision based on that desire. For better or worse, I tend not to be someone who deliberates about big life decisions (not that everyone should be that way - this is more indicative of my impulsivity than anything else).
I signed a one-year contract for a good-paying boring-as-heck oil company job after my undergrad. Early on in this job, I received an informal offer for a permanent position in another department, which I declined. Toward the end of the year, they asked me twice if I wanted to renew my contract because I had become valuable to the department. I declined both times. I probably could have had a lifelong career at that company, which is fairly prestigious and is where a lot of people want to end up, had I wanted it. But I never wanted it because I knew I wanted to go to grad school. There was never a dilemma for me.
I had nothing tying me down at that company or in that city, no financial responsibility for anyone but myself, and my personality is very much follow-your-heart-and-the-butterflies-and-see-where-they-take-you. So the choice was pretty easy to make. There are lots of factors that could have made the decision harder, such as being married, having children, liking my job, or having a different personality or values. I think the decision looks very different for everyone.
I hope this helps. It's okay if the decision is hard to make. Best wishes to you as you work this choice out in your life.
OR do I have to choose between no job offers and continuing my education?
-social science majors where you at
Currently I'm at a point in my academic career where I'm making the decision that I want to go the grad school after I'm done with BYU, specifically a PhD program in economics (I'm about to enter into the two year program of ACME, by the way). I guess I want to do this because it feels... right. Sorry if that's not super helpful for you, but I don't know a better way to put it. It also helps that I've always found the prospect of higher learning extremely addictive.
I had an idea that I might want to do grad school since I started college, but I had pretty much decided for sure about a year before I graduated. This was precipitated by 1) getting a job as a research assistant and realizing that I really liked research, and 2) coming to the realization that I would be 22 and unmarried when I graduated, and that I didn't want to be a real adult yet.