The only difference between Grad school and Undergrad

Are you ready? It’s that your classmates talk about daycare. That’s it.

I’m halfway through my masters’ program (woot!) and have been tirelessly taking class after class at the same school where I took my undergraduate classes. Last fall, in my writing notebook, I wrote down the idea, “list of differences between grad school and undergrad- daycare…” It’s been a full year since I jotted that down and I have yet to see much difference than undergrad. Just talk about daycare.

The first time I heard this topic covered was during a break in my first class. It was actually two men, about my age, who were comparing prices of daycare for their kids. “At this point, my salary is just going straight to the nursery.” said one guy. They talked back and forth of how they each tried to figure out some alternative solution, as if they were calculating a mathematical equation that was unsolvable. As I was listening I realized how this was a main split between life as an undergrad vs. grad. In undergrad, your entire focus was on going out, planning to go out, and talking about where you went out the night before. Now it’s daycare, the cost of daycare, and how ultimately your entire goal in even going to grad school is finding a job that will pay enough so you can send your child to daycare. I’ve heard this topic covered more often than SWOT analysis, and that’s a lot.

In class, it’s all the same- good students work hard and listen, bad students waste their money not doing the homework and doing poorly on presentations. No difference there. The work itself is somewhat harder, but not really, because you’re so focused on daycare and one day being able to afford it, all the projects seem less stressful in comparison.

And that my friends, is the only possible difference between grad school and undergrad. So much for compiling a cool gif-related list. It’s just daycare.

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