Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Moving On

You might say that I've "quit." I think I've moved on.

For a number of reasons, I've decided to withdraw from my Engineering Mechanics Master's program. I realize that this action may seem like giving up. In some ways, I suppose it is. But I made the decision with good intentions in mind.

All my reasons intertwine in many ways, so it's hard to say that any one particular aspect has more importance than another.

I'll start with my performance: it was not good. Due to the "unflattering" grades I received in a few classes, another semester got added to my expected graduation date. Having spent the majority of my life in the top academic tier, I found this experience to be personally devastating. I know that I'm better than the grades recorded; that's not to say I deserved higher marks, however. I should have done better, and that leads into my second reason for leaving the university: time.

Working 40 hours a week while simultaneously attaining a post-graduate degree seems to be one of those things I simply can't manage. I don't even think I could have done the same thing in my undergraduate years. In this sense, I have become aware of the sheer amount of will that some others have to complete such a feat. Give me an 80 hour week or a 20 credit semester, but not half of each.

Finally, I have doubts as to whether the information I learned was truly worth its price. The classes offered to me at a Master's level simply did not have the practical value that I expected. Sure, there were a number of things I learned throughout the process, but the combined financial and mental toll didn't balance things out.

I'd like to sign off with a heartfelt expression of appreciation to all of you who have provided support throughout this grad school process. You know who you are: thank you.

Coming soon: the beginnings of the application.

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