Why I Got My MEd
by Mycah Hulst
Attending graduate school has become increasingly popular over the years. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, between 2000 and 2017, total post-baccalaureate (i.e. master’s and doctoral programs) enrollment increased by 39 percent (from 2.2 million to 3.0 million students). By 2028, post-baccalaureate enrollment is projected to increase to 3.1 million students.
Nevertheless, I was not one to ever consider myself worthy of this level of education. Can anyone relate? Additionally, while I loved school, my bachelor’s was in business administration with an emphasis in marketing, which does not require a master’s degree to be successful. As a result, when my senior year of college arrived, I started applying for jobs and was ready to settle into the wonderful life of #adulting. However, an unexpected opportunity to pursue a master’s degree via my alma mater presented itself, which took me by surprise and definitely threw a curve ball at my perfect plan. For most people, an immediate “YES!” would’ve soon followed. But for me, this new possibility brought on immediate anxiety for two main reasons:
- Like I mentioned, I had never considered graduate school.
- The only available program was a Master of Education…😨😰😱.
What was my initial response when I found out about my limited options? “Me! Becoming a teacher!?!? No thanks!” An MEd was not what I considered to be “in line” with my goals and dreams. I had attempted studying education early in my collegiate learning career, and I immediately changed courses, because it was just not the right fit. Now, I was feeling called to give education another trial run and was less than thrilled. However, long story short…I actually ended up pursing this opportunity and before I could blink, I was in the middle of a three year graduate program centered around teacher leadership and business education. Talk about a plot twist!
Embracing the Uncomfortable
So, what caused this change of heart? In short, I wanted an experience that would make me uncomfortable. Teaching would expose and utilize a wide variety of variables that I would define as personal weaknesses and struggles (i.e. instructing, patience, confidence, humility, and etc.). These were all attributes that I had hidden WAY beneath the surface, because as a perfectionist, I did everything in my power to avoid vulnerable situations…until the day I agreed to join this MEd program. I had enough of doing the easy and instead felt the urge to pursue a challenge. Was I ready for the journey ahead? No, but rarely is that the case for life’s big moments.
Would I make the same choice again? Absolutely. I could write pages about everything I learned through getting my Master of Education degree. While I will spare you the many details, there are two final items I want to leave you with. First, learning to engage and embrace the uncomfortable moments in life provides opportunity for immense, personal growth. When the going gets tough, you TRULY do discover who you really are. Second, do not just settle for the norm, because you WILL miss out. Is a bachelor’s in business and master’s in education typical? Not at all, and I can’t tell you how many people have seemed beyond confused when I explain my combination of degrees. However, when I disclose the impact, they are blown away. Do what is different, and life will take on a whole new meaning. Trust me.