In your senior year, a big question that comes to mind is what to do after graduation. The two main options are to either enter the real world with a career or continue your education with a master’s degree.  

When I first applied to college, I knew I wanted to go to graduate school for a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in writing. It was what I knew I ought to do to perfect my craft. Making the choice over a full-time career was tough, given how moneycentric the world is and how much a second degree can cost.  

In the last two months, I sent out five applications: three lowresidency and two full-residency (out of state). What do you do when all the applications are finished?  

You wait. And wait. And pretend that you have patience.  

It’s very difficult to find patience. I’ve just spent months grueling over applications and I need to know if that work is fruitful. Chances are that I won’t get accepted to at least two of the schools I applied to, if I’m being optimistic.  

On top of that, without knowing what programs I’ve been accepted to, I have no idea what I’m doing after I graduate. I have no certainty of my future, which is fast approaching with graduation two months away, and it’s killing me.  

I can’t plan on a place to live. I can’t expect how close or far away from family I’ll be. I can’t even plan to go for full or parttime jobs because I don’t know if my graduate degree will be my full-time job.  

I have to hope that applying will be worth it. After reading all this, I doubt anyone would want to go to graduate school. It’s not a fun process to even get accepted in the first place.  

What’s pulling me through is that this is something I genuinely want. Graduate school is my best chance at a future in writing or even teaching, and I can’t do either as a career without the next degree.  

Only go to graduate school or consider it if it’s beneficial to your career and you as a person. It’ll only be a greater debt on top of your first degree. The stress leading up to it isn’t worth it, so just save yourself the trouble.  

If you’re in the fine arts, though, it may just be worth the agony of waiting. Perfecting your craft, whether you’re a writer or another type of artist, is worth it. I sure hope that it is.  

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