This is for you, working professionals everywhere. Have you, between being a money-making member of society and figuring out the grown up world of a non-student, ever considered going back to school to get the MBA that’s been on your mind? Another specialised master’s degree, perhaps even a PhD?
If this answer for you is yes, there are a few things you may want to consider while you make the decision to once again take that leap into academia. And apart from putting the fear of God in your study-loving heart, I merely intend to walk you through some of these considerations.
Do you have terrible memories of assignment deadlines and examinations? It’ll get way worse if you’re doing it after working for a bit. It just will.
What do you find when you search your mind for memories of being a student? And no, I don’t mean bunking classes with your buds, or college festivals and sports meets, or any of the other fun things that come to mind when you think of school. I’m talking about the presentations, the evaluation tests and class assignments, and the goddamn exams – because that, really, is what you’re signing up for, as an adult re-entering the world of academia – all the hard work associated with a classroom and not nearly enough of the fun.
It’ll also be tough to have as much fun as you used to have.
The only way you ought to be going into re-study, is with the admittedly nerdy belief that fun will find a way of materialising in the projects, class discussions and research work you undertake as part of your scholastic mission.
Back in the day, you were a broke college student who didn’t know anything else. But once you’ve worked, it becomes hard to live without the kind of income you were used to.
Regardless of whether you study in your home country or abroad, whether you get a scholarship or not, whether you’ve saved up for just this part of your life-plan… students are almost invariably poorer than their working counterparts. Indiscriminate online shopping whenever there’s a sale, eating from a restaurant every time you don’t feel like cooking, going out (anywhere) to drink alcohol… would all become little more than fond memories once you’re a student.
So, assuming you’re not an Ambani kid, you should ideally be prepared to live the thrifty life, at least while you try to woo that sought-after degree into your professional portfolio.
When you’re working, you have a certain amount of freedom of personality. Going back to college however, means you have to discipline yourself, and practice restraint.
Work rewards you extrinsically. Simply put, when you stick to deadlines or do a good job. This very effective and immediate extrinsic reward system is not going to come to your rescue when you’re a student and happen to need a motivational kick.
Your success will depend on your ability to nail adult things like discipline, self-control and foresight, and focus on the intrinsic goals that drew you to grad school in the first place.
Food for thought, right? Just a few things to consider before you make the massive decision to cast yourself as the lead star in ‘School life – Academia Returns’.