Grad School, Opinions, Special Projects

Doubts of applying to grad school because I’m Black

Being in college has been such an interesting journey. Not a bad experience, but it has taken a long time to finish my undergrad.

From attending community college, to transferring to a CSU, to taking a two year break, and then coming to Long Beach State last year, I’ve done it all.

I have been in college for over seven years. Even though it has taken a long time, I am very passionate about receiving an education, especially being a minority.

Growing up in a low-income family, it made sense going to community college after high school. It was during my time at Cerritos College that I knew that higher education was something on my “to-do list.”

From then to now, I am a senior and have accomplished that ambition. So what’s next?

Once I graduate, the road is unclear whether I will get a job related to my major. I am worried about what I am going to do after getting an undergrad degree, so something that has been on my mind for a few months now is grad school.

Grad school, never in my life would I have expected those two words to come out of my mouth.

I never thought that I was good enough or qualified to fulfill these positions. My mindset is changing for the better as this semester goes forth, but I often think about if I am skilled enough to even apply for post-grad studies.

For years, I have struggled with self-doubt, but some of these doubts have been rooted from feeling the burden to attend grad school because I am a woman and a minority.

I want to work in various areas of journalism, but the industry is elusive and hard to get into.

Women, let alone people of color, do not receive a vast majority of these jobs right away. To me, we must work twice as hard as a white man for certain working fields.

According to a recent Pew Research survey, 68% of journalists ages 18 to 29 say there is not enough racial and ethnic diversity at their organization, compared with 37% of journalists 65 and older. The survey was out of 12,000 people, so about 8,160 people think that there is not enough diverse delineation in the workplace.

The backup of showing a higher degree could give me a better chance in getting a step closer to a career.

It should not have to come down to taking another two years of college and paying more tuition money to the school just to prove to others that I meet the qualifications to obtain a job.

All of these thoughts are frequently running through my mind. It almost feels like an intense game of chess that you know you can win, but keep overthinking the next move.

At the end of the day, I know I will make the right decision. Going to grad school means more than proving to others that I am qualified.

If I finally decide that I want to get a higher education, it will be because I know my potential and want to polish my passion and master it.

Developing a mindset like a queen in a chess game is what I strive to do because the queen is the most powerful piece.

I am the most important piece in my life, and I know even if I do not go to grad school, receiving a bachelor’s degree is a great honor and a mark of my perseverance throughout my college experience.

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