Life decisions

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Something that you may or may not know about me is that I am the worst at making decisions unless I feel really strongly one way or the other. Picking which graduate school to attend was seriously the hardest decision of my life thus far. (I honestly wish I was better at decision-making!) So, when my advisor asked me if I wanted to continue graduate school and do a PhD after I finish my master’s degree, I pretty much said “I don’t know” in so many words. Now, a month-ish later, I have to decide very soon whether or not to continue. I always had in my mind that I would get my master’s and then enter the workforce, but now that I’m finishing that up (and defending this fall–eep!), I don’t really know what I want to do. I don’t know where I want to work. My original plan kind of fell out of the window when I realized I didn’t have the credentials. The PhD offer I received is for a project involving greenhouse gases, which is important stuff, but it’s not exactly my favorite thing to study. I’m not that good at chemistry, and what if I ended up hating my project halfway through it? I met with my advisor today to discuss it more, and he presented me with a separate offer and a totally different project–one more related to hydrology and climate, which is what I’ve been doing thus far and is something I enjoy. Plus, it’s way more open-ended; I could do almost anything for my dissertation. I’ve been going back and forth all weekend about the first offer, but now that I have this second offer…I’m actually considering continuing on. There are many pros and cons to getting a PhD, and I swear I’ve read/heard every side. I haven’t officially decided one way or another, but I’ll definitely mention my final decision whenever that may be (soon, I’m sure, though who knows–I hate making decisions, especially when they’re life-changing decisions like this one!). I thought I would know by now since we met today, but this second offer changed everything. If you have any advice one way or the other or general decision making advice, I’m all ears (eyes? ha)!

Regarding the outfit… I’ve been trying to give some love to my brighter pieces and mix them in more with my black and grey favorites. I’m not completely trying to avoid color anymore! I’m a big fan of the stripes and contrasting texture of the lace.

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Shirt: J.Crew | Skirt (old): Francesca’s (last seen here) | Flats: Vince Camuto via Nordstrom (similarlast seen here) | Earrings: American Eagle Outfitters

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6 thoughts on “Life decisions

  1. That’s really exciting! I have been casually thinking about going back for my PhD too. When I graduated I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do for my career and I thought about continuing in grad school at that point, but I’m so glad that I decided to work for a few years right after finishing my master’s. I now have a pretty clear idea of what I want my career to look like and if/when I go back to school I’ll be able make sure that whatever degree I get really helps me on my career path. But, it sounds like you have a better idea of what you want to do than I did! One thing I have heard from nearly everyone I’ve talked to is to make absolutely sure you’re interested in your research topic since it will suck up several years of your life!

    I’ve also been struggling with making a major life decision in the last couple of weeks and I thought this website was helpful- http://www.somethingpop.com/#landing not because I used it’s exact recommendation, but it helped me to have to list and give weights to the different criteria I was using. Good luck making your decision 🙂

    • Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Annie! 🙂 The one thing I’ve always heard is that you must like your research enough to eat, sleep, and breathe it for a few years. I have a feeling that because the climate/hydrology offer is so open-ended, I’ll be able to come up with a project that suits me. Thank you for sharing the website as well! xo

  2. The career/life decision is tough. I went straight from undergrad to graduate school for my PhD and although the job market is less than ideal now for people in the biomed careers, I still feel that having my PhD has opened more job/career avenues for me to try to pursue.

    I think at the end of the day the easiest way for me to decide on my career was to figure out how much I liked academic science. In my case I love it, so I decided to pursue a PhD. At the end of the day, I think that it is easy to over analyze a question like this. You know yourself best! There is really no right or wrong answer, just different routes to happiness! :o)

    • Oh wow! That’s awesome. 🙂 I am the worst at over-analyzing things and it only gets worse with decisions like these. There are definite pros and cons to getting a PhD, but it seems like a good option considering the fact that I don’t even know what I want to do as a job…maybe this will help me narrow it down (or at least teach me that I do or don’t want to go into academia, haha). Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! xo

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