Don't get me wrong - I didn't give up on the idea of another degree. I looked at different programs and entertained the idea of grad school many times. But I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, and to me it seemed silly to get a master's in something I wasn't sure about. I still wanted it, but I had to find a program that fit.
Now that I've found one I want to pursue (partially because it looks like it incorporates all the parts of my job that I love), I have decisions to make. Do I really want to start this program? Do I want to take out a loan? Do I have time for this?
There are always going to be people who are advocates for higher education, and there are always going to be critics. One blogger/business woman I read regularly basically shoots down grad school because she says it is not practical and there's never a good time to get that kind of degree. Maybe that's true.
I didn't get a master's immediately after my undergrad. I have been working for three years, trying to figure out what I want to do in my life. So no one can accuse me of avoiding the real world with a graduate program.
And honestly, I don't need a master's to do the exact job I am doing now. I don't. It might inspire me to have new ideas and new perspectives, but it wouldn't really change things financially. Not today.
But in the future, it might open new doors for me. It might be the thing that makes my resume stand out to someone. I don't know - we can never know what the future will bring, but we can try to prepare for it to the best of our ability.
And mostly, I want to do this for me. You might be thinking, "LindsAy, that's a really expensive way to better yourself. That's stupid." But why should I keep denying myself something I want, for me, when I can do something about it?
It's like this with anything in life, I think. If you set goals for yourself (say, completing a master's program before you're 30 or running a marathon before you turn 27 - that's another story), what's stopping you from accomplishing those goals? Money? Money is always going to be an issue, unless you win the lottery (unlikely) or you become some sort of celebrity or big-wig executive. Ability? Ability doesn't have to hold you back if you have the will or the drive. So what is it that holds you back?
Likely it's what other people say. And that shouldn't matter. If you want to do something, why don't you decide to go for it, despite what someone tells you they think? Like Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right." And while I love to hear what others think about this, from family to friends to social networks... my mind is pretty much made up.
We have to do things for ourselves, not for what other people will think of us.
It's not going to hurt my feelings if you disagree with me. You can. I welcome it. But know that I'm not going to get a master's for you. I'm getting it for me.