My main motive for going to grad school is to ultimately end up as an academic. I love doing research and thinking about science. Despite my love for research and science, I’ve decided that I am not cut out to be an instructor… I’m too easily annoyed and am too harsh on people when I do get annoyed.
I’ve given some consideration now to not going to grad school. I’d say I’m in with enough of the right people to be gainfully employed without grad school… in fact, grad school would be a step in the wrong direction monetarily for me.
Before I embark on what could be 5 years of hell, I’ve decided I need to better think out why I want to go to grad school in chemistry. Aside from the obvious fact that you need a PhD in order to be a professor or make decent money in industry as a chemist, there has to be something more that drives you to wake up in the morning to go to lab and fail multiple times before you do something right (whether it be on purpose or by chance).
I think those who like research are people who are stupid enough to do something multiple times (with some change) when the idea has already failed them. I’m one of those stupid types. If something doesn’t work, it will mull in my head night and day and I will think of nothing else until I can go back into lab and figure out what is going on. They wouldn’t call it REsearch if you got it right the first time. The high I get after figuring out whatever my mind is on is like no other and that drives me to pursue a PhD.
Sure, I’ve had dreams of touring the world on ice skates and opening up a yarn shop, but those just seem like trivial pursuits. I feel like I have the potential to be something great, and to settle for something menial would be to deprive the world of something of slight substance… (me as a chemist)
Reasons I don’t want to go to grad school:
1) Social life… I guess I can forget social norms, because I probably won’t need to use them. As a young kid, I was very independent and liked having my alone time. As I’ve grown, I realize the importance friends and family have on my life and the idea of not having a tight group of friends to do stuff with scares me.
2) Teaching: I hate it (see paragraph 1)
3) Lack of other hobbies: Ice skating, training, running, knitting… no more. 🙁
4) Sausage fest: I guess times are changing, but I still believe that at least in the physical sciences, the number of guys in the programmes outweigh the number of women. You’d think a single girl like myself would like the idea of this, but no. There’s a reason they say,
“The Odds are Good, but the Goods are Odd”
5) Surroundings: hello fluorescent lighting, teratogens, lab coats, and sub-freezing labs. There’s no point in putting make up on because the fluorescent lighting will wash my face out anyway. Screw trying to have kids… they will end up deformed. Why bother shopping, that hole-y t-shirt from 8th grade will do… no one will see it under my lab coat. Oh wait! T-shirt? Oh no, you’ll want a parka over that. Cute shoes… forget it.
Clearly, I need to go into sales.
wee test courtesy of prernalal.com