Road to Grad School #2: The Fork in the Road


  So, last time I checked in with you all about my decision to pursue my graduate degree I mentioned that I went through a short amount of time where I really wondered if a graduate degree is something I really wanted. I am still adamant about furthering my education, but I may want to go into a different field other than physical therapy.

I seem a bit indecisive, I know.

For a very long time I had a set plan of what I wanted to do, I chose exercise science and physical therapy and never looked back. I was the student that wasn't going to change majors multiple times or even one time. I knew (or I thought I knew) exactly what I wanted to do and exactly what path I was going to take, and that was my biggest downfall.

I had/have this idea in my head of what my life is supposed to be. I've done some pretty cool things in my 21 years so I have the bar set for myself pretty high. I have that "go big or go home" mindset when it comes to what I see for myself. For a long time, I thought to be successful, I needed the doctorate degree, I would most likely move to a bigger city if not out of state, no doubt I would be running my own business and I would have it all figured out. In the last week I've come to realize, I don't think that's the life that's going to make me happy.

First of all, I'm beginning to get worried I will get too bored with physical therapy. The area I live in, most jobs are going to be in general rehab environments. In order for me to enjoy my job I think I would need something at a faster pace, like sports or pediatrics all the time. This would require me to relocate...

...which brings me to my next point. I'm not sure that I want to make that "big move," at least not yet. I've moved multiple times, lived in different areas, and multiple times I've moved back home. As much as I thought I wanted to get out of the thumb, I kinda like it here. Not saying I won't ever take an opportunity elsewhere, but it won't be that easy. Also not easy, reassuring myself that it is perfectly okay to stay in my small town for at least a little while longer.

Just yesterday morning I literally told myself, "If I have a choice, I will never make my life this busy again." Granted right now I don't really have a choice because of school and work, that's just the way it is. But running my own business full time might just be too much.

Lastly, I'm not sure any of us really ever have it "all figured out."

Taking all of this into consideration I've come to a fork in my road to graduate school. I can choose to stay on my path to become a physical therapist or I can take the alternate route that is currently on the table and get my master's degree in dietetics.

I've pretty much worked my butt off the last four years getting observation hours, taking extra classes, and looking into programs for physical therapy. But there's just something about dietetics and nutrition that interests me. I would have to face a few more chemistry and other science courses to meet the prerequisites for the program, but surprisingly, this is something I'm willing to do. One huge perk, no GRE required for the dietetics program!!  (More to come on GRE testing in later posts).

As I have continued in my journey toward my exercise science degree, the more I have fallen in love with the health science field. That being said, I want to do it all. I want to help others in whatever way possible. Taking that into consideration I would really like to take the road that leads me to a place where I can be as involved as I want in the health and fitness world.

As of right now, I'm leaning towards the master's degree in dietetics. That being said, I'm still doing my internship in physical therapy (that's already pretty well set up), I'm still taking the GRE (already paid for), and going about the process of applying as I would if I didn't have another option. I'm also looking into contacting the other universities with dietetics programs and planning to register for the other prereqs that I need as soon as possible. Until I make my final, FOR SURE decision, I want to leave both paths of this fork in the road wide open.

Making the decision is going to be a process, as it already has proved to be. I want to be completely sure of whatever decision I make so it looks like it might be time for some more observation hours and a pros and cons list!

Comments and advice are welcome!