Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A-Z Challenge: O is for Options

Until a few hours ago, I couldn't think of a decent topic for an 'O' post to save my life. As I searched through the University of New Brunswick website for something, anything, that started with the 15th letter of the alphabet I had one of those light bulb moments and the word 'options' just popped into my head. Just as a refresher in case this is the first post of mine that you are visiting, my A-Z theme is "All Things Grad School", so O is for all of the options that I've had and still have to choose from while beginning this learning adventure.

Options 1: To go or not to go to grad school - I've always known I wanted to pursue a higher education. I aspire to be Dr. Brandy (the PhD kind, not the MD kind) someday. I just finished my undergrad honours degree and I am increasingly feeling under-stimulated at my job. Go to grad school.

Options 2: Which grad schools do I apply to - In Canada a lot of the English Master's programs require a certain knowledge of a second language. I speak, read, and write, English only, therefore, I am pretty limited in terms of where I can apply. I narrow it down to three based on the lack of a language requirement and my interest in the courses being offered in 2013-14. Apply to York University, University of Victoria, and University of New Brunswick. 

Options 3: When I get accepted into all three schools, which one do I choose - Ok, so yay me; I receive admission from all three schools, but now I'm faced with one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make. I have to decide which one of these schools offers the best program for me. I hum and I haw and I ask the opinions of a lot of people and inevitably go with the one my heart's been guiding me to all along. Accept UNB's offer. 

Options 4: Which courses do I register for - The UNB Master's in English has one mandatory course and requires that I choose six more. There are 10 classes total for me to choose from. I've picked four and still need to decide on two more. Register for "Medieval (Re-) Visions of Classical Antiquity", "Creative Writing: Prose", "Learning One's Letters: Education and Culture in Victorian Literature", and "African American Literature and the Sociology of Race".

Options 5: Separate course work and thesis or not- I can either complete all my course work in my first year and then dedicate my second year strictly to my thesis or I can work on both simultaneously throughout both years. I think I'd be a crazy person to work on courses and my own thesis at the same time. Do all required courses in Year 1 and spend Year 2 on only my thesis. 

Options 6: Where to live - There is a graduate student residence at UNB, but the area of Fredericton that surrounds the university is also almost completely residential and rentable to students. I'm not planning on taking any furniture with me so residence would seem like the most viable option, but I've heard that even though it's a grad student dorm, it's still quite noisy. Noise is not really my cup of tea so perhaps an apartment would be better. Then again, an apartment building might not be any less noisy and I'll likely be spending most of my time in the library anyway. I have no clue where I am going to live yet.


  1. Way to go and doing the challenge. I love hoping around and seeing everyone's topics. Mine is

  2. Your personality really shines through on this post; you see an issue, you assess that issue, you make a decision on that issue, you move on. I'm humbled by your ability to not question yourself.

  3. Alright, I just read my posts and found your lovely nomination for an award. Thank you.

  4. The O post turned out hard for me too. I love the way you are so eager to get into grad school. :)