I'm a recent BSME grad with a good job. I'm debating graduate school. I could move away and go full time or I could take 1 class a semester and continue to work full time at the same school I got my BS from. I'm not sure academia is for me. I thoroughly enjoy learning but homework is annoying unless it serves a purpose other than getting a grade. I learn topics without having to do them necessarily. For example, I pulled off an A- in heat transfer while doing no homework and studying roughly 2 hours for exams. Fluids was similar but I did a lot of the homework although it didn't count towards my grade. That should tell you something about my 'rebel without a cause' nature. The time I saved by slacking at school I spent on building vehicles, making movies, recording music, etc. Things that I really love as much as I love science. I even built my own wood boiler to heat my Dad's shop (I'm a TIG welder as well). I have many ideas and projects that I'd like still to do on my own (a hydraulic hybrid off road concept vehicle, various alternative energy conversion devices, etc) and I think the best way to do this would be to continue working and buy my own shop to work on my ideas instead of working in a university lab as a slave to the funding. Besides science and engineering, I still like to spend a lot of my free time on music, video, writing, etc. I may be putting another band together soon as well. I'm just not sure I could sacrifice all the things I love (just about everything) to focus all my energy on school. If I know what there is out there to learn, I will be interested and learn it, I just won't have a piece of paper saying I did it. Then again, that will only get you a job working for someone else and that's not ideal in my mind. I realize it's impossible to learn and do everything but everything is interesting and nothing can stop curiousity. Any wisdom from the elders here?