I’m writing this in the library café at the university I’m due to graduate from in less than two months. Over there, in the corner overlooking the fountain, I remember studying for gender studies quizzes with friends, and in the display case sit the red-grape chicken sandwiches I used to crave after every three-hour-long workshop class. In committing the majority of the last two years—16 out of 24 months—to the co-op program, for better or worse I have lost touch with this campus.
I have given some thought to grad school; it’s almost cliche now, the notion that an M.A. is the new B.A., and that to get ahead in the workplace you have to put yourself through even more school. The majority of my co-workers have graduate degrees, and often also professional certifications. The B.C. government offers some opportunities for career development to their employees: there’s a scholarship program, in which the government funds part of your tuition and certain expenses if you commit to working two years for them, plus one year for every year of schooling they fund, once you complete your degree. If I took three years off to go to law school, for example, I would have to work the following five years with the government in return for the scholarship. While I’m not averse to the idea of having a amount of time dedicated to a single employer (and indeed, such a stable employer as the government), I do balk a bit at the restrictiveness of that situation. Regardless, there are always other scholarship programs and I’m not completely tied to the idea of going to grad school if it’s not necessary for my continued employment.
Ultimately, the goal for me is to get on full-time—if not with the government, then with somewhere else—as that is a stable, dedicated road toward many of the supports I crave for my future, both tangible (benefits) and intangible (acceptance).