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Feel too young for grad school

  1. Jun 17, 2014 #1
    Hi everyone. I'm a twenty-four year old and I just finished college with a degree in biochemistry. I wanted to get into graduate school but I didn't get get in. I was thinking of working for a year and applying again but part of me thinks I'm not ready for more school.

    I love science but I think I'm too lazy to apply myself to the rigors of grad school. I feel like I'm still too young and a PhD is for older people who have aged into themselves a bit more. Also I've been thinking of finding a job in industry rather than pursue more schooling right away. The idea of making some money rather than chasing more schooling just seems smarter to me right now.

    My main question is is it alright for me to feel too young for grad school? I feel too young for a PhD although I like learning. I know some of my classmates are in grad school right now and some of my professors finished when they were twenty eight. But I also know others who started grad school in their thirties so I don't think I have to start right away.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
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  3. Jun 17, 2014 #2

    interhacker

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    Whether you want to go to grad school or not and when you want to go is your choice, but you can never be too young for a PhD.
     
  4. Jun 17, 2014 #3

    f95toli

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    I don't quite understand how you can feel too young for a PhD (where you after all is a student. albeit one with more reponsibilities than an undergrad) but old enough to have a "proper" job?
    Working in industry will inevitably involve taking on quite a bit of reponsibilies are well.

    Also, don't take this the wrong way, but if you are 24 you are an adult; and everyone around you will expect you to behave as one. Hence, regardless of what you do you will never be a "kid" again.
     
  5. Jun 17, 2014 #4

    Choppy

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    I think it's totally fine to feel that way. It sounds like waiting for a year or so to enter graduate school may be the right choice for you.

    Personally, I've observed that a lot of people seem to feel a kind of pressure to push through the PhD as quickly as possible, as if there is some kind of deadline where getting the PhD after age thirty is some kind of failure. This is baloney (although I agree your PhD shouldn't drag out any longer than it needs to).

    Work for a year. Then, if you feel you are read for graduate school, go for it.
     
  6. Jun 17, 2014 #5

    f95toli

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    I definitly agree that one should not enter graduate school unless one feel motivated and waiting a year or two is often a good option, especially if one is a bit tired of school.
    However, I still think "feeling too young" is a somewhat strange reason; to me that statement implies that one does not really feel ready for the responsibilties/pressure of being a PhD student, and my point was that when you are 24yo there is no way to avoid round the fact that you are an adult; meaning working in industry is not neccesarily going to be any better (and can definitly be more stressful).
     
  7. Jun 17, 2014 #6
    No. It's perfectly fine to not want to go to graduate school right now, and it isn't bad to get some experience in industry either, but the idea that you are "too young" at 24 is ridiculous.

    (I went to grad school with a pair of 16 year olds. Now *maybe* they could have asked themselves if they were too young... but 24 is a very typical age to be in grad school.)
     
  8. Jun 17, 2014 #7
    I don't know- I'm not a biochem major - but my impression is working towards a PhD can be considerably more difficult than working a regular job. It also may require significantly more personal initiative.


    Anyway, to address the OP, taking some time off school to mature and figure things out may not be a bad idea. If you do, use this time to explore your options for grad. school. What research is being done that interests you? Also consider strengthening your skills and knowledge at a more fundamental level by self-study.

    Beware however, that you may find yourself in a difficult situation finding a job. Some employers may not be looking for someone wants to leave in a year or two to go back to school. So you may have to look for an employer that supports or tolerates your grad. school ambitions.
     
  9. Jun 17, 2014 #8
    When I think of phd I think of my professors and I just don't think I'm old enough to be like them.
     
  10. Jun 17, 2014 #9
    Pretty much how I feel thank you.
     
  11. Jun 18, 2014 #10
    Honestly I agree that your never too old for a passion and obviously science is yours , everyone obtains lazyness once in a while but I heard it's worth wild after you get out of there , I bet you can , you seem smart enough , your more than you think
    Basically anyone can rank higher than their personal expectations you. just need mental drive.
    Sincerely -the 14 yr old
     
  12. Jun 19, 2014 #11

    Orodruin

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    To be honest on this, doing a PhD is quite far from having become a professor. If this is the full reason you consider yourself too young I would try to have a look at some actual PhD students instead of the professors. Exactly what aspect of being a professor are you not old enough for?
     
  13. Jun 19, 2014 #12
    Well first off I really don't want to be a professor. I always dreamed of working in research and engineering not teaching. I think I will pursue grad school but I have to wait a year before applying again. I'm hoping to get into a technical job first though and learn how to navigate the real world " ".
     
  14. Jun 19, 2014 #13
    You're right. I have peers already in grad school.
     
  15. Jun 19, 2014 #14

    Orodruin

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    Just statistically, most PhD students do not end up in academia as professors, even if a large portion may see this as their preferred carreer choice. I have a friend who just completed his PhD and is now employed at a major Swedish telecom company's research department. Just as an example, from my supervisor's students (theoretical physics), about 50% have gone directly to industry and I am so far the only one with a tenure track job (I was among his first students to graduate about 7 years ago).

    I am not saying you are making a bad choice postponing it as it ultimately has to be what you feel comfortable with. The only thing I want to point at is that professor is not the only carreer path for PhDs.
     
  16. Jun 21, 2014 #15
    @orodruin
    I see that's actually kind of reassuring thanks.
     
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