After a long, time-consuming process, I’m finally able to make the announcement I’ve wanted to be able to make since I first decided to become a librarian around 2013: I’m going to grad school!
Beginning in the fall, (maybe even this summer, if I am approved for financial aid) I will be returning to my alma mater, University of Maryland, to complete my master’s in library science. For those who may not be aware, a master’s in library science is required by most library systems in order for someone to be considered a full-fledged librarian (which means different things and different responsibilities at different libraries, I am currently considered a library associate.) Thus, this is a major step on my path toward ruling the (library) world and I am very excited to begin.
A few things I’ve learned from this process:
- It’s hard to make the smart decision. When I began thinking about grad school, I was dying to go to University of Washington or UCLA. I wanted a change of scenery, a new challenge, and I knew that both schools have well-recognized library schools. But, when it came down to it, UMD was the best decision, both financially and in terms of what I’m actually looking for in a school. We have excellent career resources, are extremely well-connected, and alumni tend to have great success after achieving their degree. It didn’t make any sense to travel far when I had an excellent program calling my name in my own backyard, and can continue to work while I take classes.
- Applying to grad school is a lot harder than applying to undergrad. I was emailing former professors, bosses and classmates left and right trying to make the right connections, get the necessary information and just generally figure out what in the world I was supposed to be doing. Then there’s the matter of finding an assistantship once you’re admitted, and finding financial aid… it’s a long process, still ongoing even as I create this post.
- It’s good to wait a bit! When I first graduated from undergrad I went through serious withdrawal. I signed up for Duolingo and Khan Academy and so many other websites so that I could keep testing myself and quizzing myself and just learning. Heck, I started this blog because I missed having regular writing assignments. I really wanted to start applying to school and get back into it. But I waited a year and a half and, while that doesn’t seem like a long time, I learned a lot about myself, gained a ton more skills, and will be going into my degree actually knowing what I’m getting into, having a better sense of self, and likely leaving a more desirable candidate because I’ll have both real-world and academic experience under my belt.
I’m excited to finally get started and I’ll definitely try to keep updating this blog regularly along the way!