You know you’re not ready for grad school when…

So, how do you know if you’re not ready for graduate school in science?

Many upcoming and current graduate students, don’t feel ready. However, that feeling alone doesn’t mean you’re not ready. So, what are some of the signs you really aren’t ready for graduate school as a next step in your science career?

1) You don’t have a plan
If you don’t have a plan for what you want to get out of your graduate program, some ideas for what you want to do after you’re finished, or what you want to work on in general (doesn’t need to be super specific) – you’re probably not quite ready.

However, just because you don’t know exactly what project you want to do or study, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not ready for graduate school. More seasoned graduate students tend to find it funny when someone comes in totally sure they know what they’re going to do. Things change, quite often.

2) You haven’t found what you are passionate about in terms of scientific research

3) You aren’t sure you want to try something new, very challenging, and that will deserve a lot of effort put into it

4) You haven’t learned how to be independent

Yes, in graduate school you’ll have professors, peers, and committee members that will help you along the way. This is a great part of graduate school, but if you’re not ready to learn independently and work on your own – you’re not quite ready for graduate school.

5) If you’re just doing it because you don’t know what else to do

6) When there are many other things you could think about that you would want to do, or try

We suggest trying those first!

7) If you’re not excited about working on a project for more than a semester

Still unsure about graduate school?

When it comes down to it, no one can really tell you that you’re not ready for grad school! Honestly, not even you can likely tell when you’re not ready for grad school…. Lots of people say that until you absolutely know what you want to research, and you feel absolutely confident that you’re not ready. However, even our SciAll collaborators and professional scientists weren’t all confident and absolutely sure of what they were going to research, but figured it out when they got to graduate school.

Sometimes, you’ll never be ready for the big change in your life. But, you do it anyway.

So, if you’re excited and want to be in graduate school… maybe take the leap!

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