When I think of getting a Master’s degree, something tells me that the reason that I want one (so that I can say that I have one) isn’t a good one. I know it sounds lame but I really think my opinion of myself would improve if I have a Masters degree because well, that’s what smart people do: they get an MA, MSc, MBA or any of its variations after their name. And to say that my undergrad education completely succeeded in making me feel like I was completely stupid would be an understatement.
I have two Bachelor’s degrees, one in Honours Biochemistry (aka The Degree That Almost Killed Me, The Reason Why I No Longer Think I’m Smart, Why I Probably Won’t Ever Apply To Medical School Or Get In), and a degree in General Arts (which was actually a very wonderful experience). Some have said that completing the degree is all that should matter but like I was telling a friend, I would rather talk about my sexual history (ok, I know there’s nothing to talk about there!) or my financial life than show someone my transcript. Perhaps that’s how you’ll know I’m in love with someone, if I tell you I talked about my grades with them.
One thing I learned while trying to kill myself in school is that I don’t want to work in a laboratory. I found the whole process very unfulfilling: you work for months, sometimes years, redoing experiments and finally, when your research is complete and you publish a paper or two, you get to bask in the glow of the result of your hard work for two seconds before having to dive back into the research world again. Don’t get me wrong: I am grateful there are people out there who are passionate about research, but I learned that I am not one of those people.
There are some practical considerations to be made, such as what would I want to get a Masters degree in? Business Administration is an option, perhaps, but I’ve never taken a business course in my entire life, not even in highschool, and all these courses that talk about systems and models and analysis and statistics make me ill. When you combine that with my abysmal grades from Biochemistry, perhaps I’ve just disqualified myself.
Before I got my current job, I toyed with the idea of getting a Masters degree in Health Administration, because I figured it would be a way for me to maintain a link to the hospital sector without being a doctor. However, I let my fear that the people evaluating applications would see mine and laugh at it before passing it on to their colleagues for a laugh too so I didn’t apply. Then I got my current job so everything worked out.
But sometimes, I wonder if I will regret being 40 and not having a Masters degree. I know I have no interest in a PhD whatsoever but a 2 year Masters program, perhaps worked on on a part time basis would be right up my alley. It would be nice to use my brain intensely again, to deal with the challenge of turning in papers and doing projects to wow the professor. I wouldn’t mind meeting new people either. I don’t relish exams but Masters are less about exams, right? And it’s not like it’ll be an exam in organic chemistry so really, how bad could it be?
(No, please don’t answer.)
So, I’m in thinking and contemplating mode. I don’t know what I want exactly, but I know I want something. Part of me hopes what I’m seeking is already in my possession but if it isn’t, then I have some decisions to make.
I need a retreat.