Of two minds: study at home or abroad?

I came home from Explore last week, pensive.

Thinking Man Statue

Thinking Person

I was happy to be home. Truth be told, I did not enjoy Explore as much as I thought I would, and so, coming home was a relief. I also came home from Explore with a massive to-do list, and on the list: graduate school applications.

When I returned to school in 2012, it was with the intention to pursue graduate studies – a Masters and a PhD. I wanted to apply to the top schools in the UK, i.e. Oxford, Cambridge and LSE. I thought I would apply to Canadian schools as well, but I would pass up American schools as I did not want to write the GREs.

In April 2014 I was certain I would follow my plan to apply to graduate schools in the UK and Canada. But, after coming back from Explore, I am uncertain as to what I will do. This summer, I will be preparing my graduate school applications including my personal statements, reference letters and research proposal, but, I am now unsure of where I want to end up.

When I enrolled for the Explore program this spring, I found it difficult to be away from my husband. It was difficult to concentrate, enjoy activities, and appreciate the culture and people around me. I struggled with my decision to leave my family in order to study each day of the Explore program.

I am (now) concerned that if I choose to study overseas that my family and I will be miserable apart; and I will compromise my ability to study and to excel. But if I choose to study at home, I may also compromise my ability to get a job after I complete my Masters and PhD.

Where you decide to go to school matters, especially when you are thinking of a career in academe.

If I go to a university closer to home, I will save money, but more importantly, it will ease the stress of being away from my family for a long time. This may make a significant difference in my ability to concentrate and enjoy my time at school. I haven’t decided what to do yet. This chapter is still in progress.

I would love your help. If you are a mature student and you have happened to come across my blog, please do let me know what you think. I would love to have a conversation with you.

Ttyl,
Neena

Raise your hand if you have a question

raised_handI was talking to one of my classmates on Thursday about participating in class. She is also a mature student. She is a single mom with two children, and like me, she is at school full time at Glendon College. She commented that she is very intimidated to participate in class – not because she doesn’t have anything to contribute to the discussion – but rather, she is intimidated by the other students who are seemingly more intelligent, sharper, more aware of world politics. Continue reading

This looks familiar…

Glendon EntranceI am well into my second year at Glendon. Although everything is familiar, in many ways my second year is totally different. This year I am involved and contributing to life at Glendon. I am amazed at the difference involvement has made to the quality of time I spend at Glendon. During my first week, the usual fears plagued me – what if no one talks to me? Have I become stupid over the summer? Will I be able to make friends my own age? Not possible, no and yes! Continue reading