Almost Done

I turned in my paper for my senior lab project this morning at 9 (an hour early! That’s a first, haha). I am so relieved to not have that hanging over my head. The only thing I have left is a final for my nanomedicine class. I heard from a grad student yesterday that one of the other undergrads was compiling everyone’s presentations on Google Drive. I didn’t take very good notes on these presentations as they were given, so this was very valuable information to me. Now, I had to contact the undergrad the only way I knew how, through Facebook. I’m still not out to anyone at school besides the grad student that I work with closely, but I the presentations would be really nice to have, so I decided to shoot him a message about it. He replied quickly, but there was no indication that he cared at all that he was receiving a message from August rather than the name I go by at school. I feel relieved, but more than that, I feel a boost of confidence. I’m tempted to try adding a few more people from school as friends on Facebook.

With Thursday being my last final, graduation is within my grasp, finally. It’s taken me six years to get my undergraduate degree. I started taking classes at the local community college after my second deployment while I was waiting to leave the Marine Corps back at the end of 2007. I’d like to say I feel accomplished, but with another year of school looming ahead of me to complete my Master’s… I don’t know. People keep asking me what I want to do after that; I’m not really sure. I really only have two options: continue on for my PhD or get a jobs. My feelings on the subject vary, but lately I’ve been leaning heavily towards wanting to get a job. While I think it would be cool to get a PhD for the sake of getting a PhD, I still have to think about the practical side of life. First, Alex and I want to adopt a child, and children are expensive. If I spend another 5 years in school getting a PhD, we’re going to be living on rice and beans for that 5 years. Second, we want to buy a house. Now, while we could get a VA Home Loan (which require no down payment), I’d still like to a down payment sized sum of money in savings, just in case. Third, I like to buy expensive clothes and toys. Okay, so those things aren’t necessities, but it doesn’t mean I don’t like having nice things or going out to nice dinners, etc. Another thing to consider is that I’m not sure how a Master’s versus a PhD will affect my job opportunities in the future. Things to consider, I suppose. Mostly likely, I will apply to a couple of PhD programs at the end of this year and begin applying to jobs as the end of next school year rolls around.

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