When I was first considering the idea of returning to school, I emailed or talked to:
- everyone in my family who’d been to grad school (I have lots of siblings!)
- any of my acquaintances who’d returned to grad school several years after college graduation
I got lots of decent advice, but the best thing I heard came from a friend of mine, also a chemist, who’d returned for his master’s degree eight years after receiving his bachelor’s. In a nutshell, this is what he told me:
My biggest mistake was assuming that the chemistry that people were currently learning in school was the same as the chemistry I’d learned in school. I didn’t realize how much the science had changed, and I got steamrollered. If I were going back today, I would first get up-to-date textbooks and study them to bring myself up to speed.
Needless to say, I took this advice seriously. My college texts are still gathering dust, and I am studying out of relatively new textbooks.