I worked a full time job for several years before I decided to go back to grad school. Some of my reasons for returning to grad school were traditional, including a desire to expand knowledge in my subject and the opportunity to become an academic, while others were less conventional. I was already a mom when I applied to grad school and welcomed the lifestyle of a grad student. Here are some of my “bad” reasons to return to school:
1) A flexible schedule
I worked a 9-5 in my “previous life”. There is something inherently stressful about having to be present at work 8 hours a day 5 days a week regardless of your work load. In graduate school, I work when I need to. My work definitely amounts to more than 40 hours a week in corporate time (if you’ve worked corporate, you know what I mean) but in reality, it is quite manageable. It is also nice to be able to stay home with the children if need be and have the time to do doctor’s appointments and children’s activities during working hours.
2) Ability to travel
My husband and I love to travel. It was our main hobby before kids and we have been lucky enough to continue traveling relatively frequently with the kids. Prior to my return to school, my husband was working a job which required a decent amount of travel. I would regularly be home alone for weeks at a time. Once I started school, I could pick up my work and travel with my husband. I would work during the day while the kids napped and played in the hotel room or at a local library and we would explore at night. It might not sound glorious always being on call but it is much better than 2 weeks of travel time a year.
3) More time with my children
Graduate school is most definitely a full time job. Despite this, I feel certain that I have more time with my children in graduate school than I did when I worked full time. Many days I do not have to travel to the office, saving essentially one to two hours of “work” time I can now spend with my children. I can take days off if I need to in order to unwind and enjoy some valuable family time. I get to work my schedule around my personal life allowing me to take advantage of more awake time with the little ones.
What were your “bad” reasons to go to grad school?