Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Big Debate

I managed to get most of my graduate school applications knocked out. There are only a few things I still need to do:

  1. Wait for my GRE writing score to arrive so I can add it to my applications.
  2. Send the recommendation forms to my letter-writers. Thankfully, NC uses an electronic system.
  3. Edit and type up my personal statement. 
  4. Contact Scripps and Vanderbilt and have them send my transcripts to the schools I'm applying to.
  5. Pay the fees and submit.
I also have to decide which programs I am going to apply to. Sort of a problem, yes? I sent my scores to the big public schools here in North Carolina, so now all I have do do is decide which schools and which specific programs I'm interested in.

My dilemma is this: I would like to get a Ph.D. in sociology. However, I would also like to be gainfully employed after I complete my graduate studies, preferably in my current location. These are two large wrinkles. I know enough about academia to know that 1) the job market in the humanities and the social sciences is pretty terrible and 2) you pretty much have to go where the work is, running the risk of teaching in BFE forever. There's also the not-small matter of spending another five to seven years as a full-time student (and part-time teacher, yeesh), along with the fact that the only doctoral program in sociology is at UNC-Chapel Hill, which is all the way across the state from where I live now. It's not very feasible, but I still really want to do it, and feel rather whiny and petulant that I can't.

I guess I should suck it up, be a grown-up, and get a practical degree (because I will have a nervous breakdown if I continue the cycle of underemployment I'm in), but I can't help but wish I could stay in school forever, instead.

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