Here's something I've been wanting to talk about but have been to embarrassed what the reactions will be of the people I tell (mainly my husband and my mother). I don't want people to know. So here I am, posting on the internet about it because...well, there's no people on the internet, right? Right?
Here goes: I'm not going to grad school. I didn't even turn in my application. The deadline was February 1st and the night before I remember thinking to myself, "Maybe I should finish it and turn it in even though I don't have a professor to work with." Then I justified not doing it by remembering that I already blew $70 on a GRE Subject test that I decided I didn't want to take, and I would just be blowing $50 on this application, because the odds of me getting accepted without having a professor who wants me to work with him is just about slim to none. Then I remembered that if I didn't apply then I would have wasted another $70 on the GRE that I took but that now will go toward nothing since I'm not going to grad school.
Needless to say, there has been a lot of justifying going on in my head, both for and against going to grad school. However, that's how it's been since I started considering the possibility that I would go, so I'm fairly used to it.
In the end, it came down to this: is this really something that I'm willing to put myself through? I have absolutely no desire to go to grad school. None. After talking to professors and some grad students, I've come to realize that grad school is already awful and miserable enough, you don't want to do it if you're not doing something that you're really passionate about. And honestly...I can't think of anything that I would be able to study at BYU that I am truly and honestly passionate about studying for 2+ years. It seems like the things I am interested in change so rapidly that I don't think I could commit to doing the same thing for that long. Right now, I would love nothing more than to study dogs. Yes, the domesticated canine that you have sitting on your lap or on the floor next to you as you read this (if that is the case I am incredibly jealous, by the way. I want a dog more than anything). It's strange, but I love dogs and want to learn all I can about them. I was so interested in behavioral ecology while in school, and it's something that I'm still interested in, but I don't have a particular animal that I want to study, which is what I would have done in grad school.
I feel like this is the right decision. Even if it's not, there's really nothing that I can do about it since the deadline has passed, but that is beside the point. I've been on the lookout for job opportunities, and have even applied and interviewed for a few. Until then, I have a good job that I like, working with people I love. That's good enough for me.