Sunday, February 28, 2010

the scary thing

Add date is next Friday, March 5.

I have now officially decided I am not staying an extra term for a second major in biology, and thus not turning in the proper forms by that date.

I make this decision because:

a. I don't want to go to grad school in biology. I had this revelation this week. While I enjoy 7.02, I don't want to do it forever. Or even for three more years.
b. I'm not sure how this degree would help me in my eventual career, whatever that may be.
c. There are definitely some classes I am excited about in the biology department here, but I would only get to take one of them next term, plus three I'm not as excited about.
d. I am finally starting to get some ideas for what I'm going to do for graduate school in fall 2011, and they are not biology centered.

I hate being almost-an-adult sometimes. I really, desperately want someone to validate my choice, to say "This is the best idea, and here is why." I'm used to being an overachiever, but all the paths traditionally open to those of my ilk -- med school, law school, MBA (maybe) -- all make me wince. I think the only thing worse than slogging through something that is not always particularly enjoyable with some vague hope of a light afterward (a la high school and MIT, thank you very much) is slogging through something with the knowledge that even if you can't find a job you like in your field, you'll be saddled with enough student debt to bring a pack of camels to their knees. This has frankly channeled a lot of my decision making in regards to grad school, because I'll be on my own paying for it. It damn well better be worth it if I'm going to be paying for it for ten years.

(It seems odd to think that maybe I am being asked to do what makes me happy, what I can dive into with joy, and not what will make me the most prestigious person with the most clout and the most money to make people listen and good things happen. (And perhaps it says something about me that this seems odd.))



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