A comment on the previous post reminded me of a silly (but real) reason I wanted a graduate degree. Hey, I’m a pseudonym, might as well admit it, right?
I wanted the graduation ceremony.
I had planned to go to grad school for a while, but the spring before I started, I attended a family member’s graduate commencement ceremony and it got me all fired up.
You see, I went to a fancy SLAC that boasted of a super high 4-year finishing rate and had mostly middle to upper class students who were expected to finish college because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Graduation day felt like just a long ceremony with a party at the end. Of course, my school had students for whom graduating was a singular accomplishment, but they’d been assimilated, borg-like, into an overprivileged party-hard atmosphere.
My relative’s graduation ceremony was entirely different. The average student was my age or older, with several bringing infants and small children when they got their diploma. This was something they’d chosen to do, and they’d sacrificed a lot to get where they were. I could picture myself there, getting that certificate – I wanted to be there.
Also, they had nifty academic regalia.
Any other silly-but-real reasons to get an advanced degree? I bet everyone’s hiding one or two…