Saturday, April 6, 2013

Grad School Part One: It Had Never Occurred to Me

As some of you know I'm going to go to grad school next year. I haven't really wanted to write about this before now encase it somehow affected the application process, I think I mentioned this blog in my application. Even though I haven't made a final decision yet there is a lot of stuff I want to talk about related to grad school. So over the next few weeks I'm going to do a series of posts about the different aspects of applying to grad school.

The first thing I should talk about is why I decided to go to grad school at all. When I came to China I really had no idea what I wanted to do besides travel. I had thought vaguely about grad school while I was still in Madison, but going for English didn't appeal to me and I had no idea what else I would study. Actually I never really considered that something like International Relations was something people studied in grad school. When I was an undergrad after I gave up studying Computer Science I considered a number of different majors but Poly Sci never really appealed to me. I think that had to do with all the Poly Sci students I knew in Madison either wanted to work for politicians, which I had no interest in, or didn't seem to know anything about politics. I've always been something of a news and politics junky but the vast majority of the Poly Sci students I meet seemed to have no real interest in it. It just turned me off from the whole major.

The first time I thought more about graduate school was while I was in Changzhou. Ken mentioned that he was planning on taking the GRE's and wanted to go to grad school for IR. That was the first time it occurred to me that International Relations was something people went to school for. It made a sort of immediate sense to me. I was interested in politics, and other countries. Ken never did end up taking the GRE, though he is in DC now. He went on to the Peace Corps in Costa Rica and now works for the Bureau of Labor Statistics in DC.

Next time I'll talk more about how I ended up deciding to go to grad school.