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Minor Master’s Disaster

By Jenna Moede

I told you all that I will head back for my Master’s this fall which I feel really excited about, but I’ve had a really hard time making that decision. 

See, I messed up my path to my Master’s degree in the past and since then I have totally shied away from going back.  

I know I want my Master’s, and I feel confident this time that I chose the right program to study, but I still feel like my confidence has taken a hit because of what happened before.  

A while ago, I started on my way to a Master’s program. I needed to lead into my program with a certificate because I had no measurable experience in my new field - nutrition. While it really counted as two different programs, since I planned to complete both, the programs merged in my mind. 

I picked my Master’s degree on a whim because I had always enjoyed learning about health, and all my friends already knew their graduate school and program or had already started so I felt a ton of pressure to just get moving on something, anything!  

Since I felt so rushed, I just enrolled at the university I finished my undergrad degree at which I hadn’t really wanted to go back to, and I found myself accepted and enrolled without much thought or reasoning. 

Coming from successfully earning my Bachelor’s, I really thought I had made the right decision, but even so, it all happened fast.  

Next thing I knew, I had taken out loans and paid for classes to hopefully land my dream job - a job that had only popped into my mind about a month before starting.  

I did no research and I asked no questions.  

For some reason, I felt I bothered my academic advisor when I asked anything at all.  

Finally, after my second semester I started questioning if this program really interested me and why I had started it in the first place.  

I didn’t want my friends to leave behind, but I also didn’t want to keep wasting money on something that wouldn’t help me in the future.  

I started asking for guidance from my advisor. Within a week of talking to her, I figured out that this program wouldn’t even help me get close to the job I thought I had started studying about.  

So, I gave up for a while.  

I didn’t finish the program but obviously still had to pay for it. I felt discouraged, disappointed and stuck. Within the next year, I watched my friends graduate with honors from their graduate schools, and I started to pull away from those connections.  

They reminded me of my failure in graduate school. During my period that I had off, I made a million excuses for why I didn’t have to go back, but I also discovered my passion for teaching and writing through actual experience, not just a hunch.  

As I gained a little perspective and felt less desperate, I realized I was the only thing holding me back anymore because I didn’t want to go back after everyone else had finished. 

So I made the decision to start the ball rolling in the direction of finishing my Master’s (again) but this time, I decided to do it all the right way.   

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