A guide to grad school

If you think having an undergraduate diploma is impressive, think again. Apparently there is something out there that will make you even more money once you’ve paid Sallie Mae, and that something, my friends, is called graduate school. I toyed with this idea during spring break when I visited some schools and have come up with a few things to consider before applying:

1) Apparently, you are not supposed to apply to grad school for the sole reason of being a student. My image of strolling through the graduate program at Columbia University in my chic black NYC ensemble was immediately shattered.

2) If you don’t like cold weather, wind, rain, snow or hail, a city like Boston is probably not such a good idea, as you will have to trudge through these messes for at least two years. There is always the Cheers bar, which is warm and cozy and there you can snuggle up with Ted Danson and Samuel Adams.

3) If you like Harry Potter, chandeliers and gourmet food, I highly recommend applying to Harvard for the dining hall alone. They used it to film scenes in Hogwarts, and I can’t say I’m not jealous. There is no sign outside the Mahoney-Pearson or Hecht-Stanford dining hall telling visitors to refrain from taking pictures and to respect the students’ privacy. So, if you want to feel like a celebrity and eat your lobster bisque with police escort in peace, go to Hah-vahd.

4) One of the best ways to find out about a certain graduate school’s program is to ask a current student. In the event that this current student tells you, “Don’t go here. I’m going to put on my résumé that I was in the county jail for the past two years just so I don’t have to associate with this school anymore,” it is probably best for you to slowly back away from this lunatic jailbird, and consult another student.

5) If you are considering law school, it is always wise to take a tour of each law school first. Then, after eight different tours of the Moot Court, you will be so thoroughly confused that you’ll fully appreciate the close vicinity of bars around campus.

6) And in my case, the close vicinity of H&M near Cardozo Law School.

Some graduate schools don’t bother giving tours. In such cases, take advantage of the self-guided tours and give yourself at least two hours trying to navigate the intricate underground system of schools such as Boston College. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised or thoroughly puzzled as to how you ended up in the freshmen dorms.

Lisa Magedler is a junior majoring in creative writing. She is completely confused about what to do with her life after graduating and may be contacted at l.magedler@umiami.edu.