So I’m a general bio student at a 4 year college and I’m quickly getting close to graduation and I want to go to grad school but I have no fucking clue what i want to specialize in. How the hell do I pick? Bugs are fantastic and plants and wonderful and fungus is just fucking wild as shit and mammals are so great and I absolutely adore reptiles but I kinda want to go into paleo but I have no idea what I want to do with my life and what to study. What do I do?
Well, study bugs, obviously.
But I mean, there’s no reason to jump straight from undergrad to grad school. I took a year off between the two to work in a couple different labs on campus before applying to grad school, and in retrospect I probably should have taken two or three years.
If campus lab jobs are an option available to you, I’d recommend doing that, and take that opportunity to experience working in or adjacent to fields of your interest. You can use that time to talk to people in those fields and consider what you want to do as a career ultimately, like if you want to be in academia, government, private industry, etc. Certain fields and subfields are more appropriate to different careers. My original plan for post-grad school was the forest service, so I applied to a lab that primarily deals in forest pests, for example.
Finally, regardless of what you do for grad school or your ultimate career, there are always ways to engage with these fields in a hobbyist or citizen scientist capacity. You can get a PhD in paleontology but still ID bugs or mushrooms on iNaturalist on the weekend or whatever. You could
also talk to @nanonaturalist about becoming a Master Naturalist which I don’t know anything about but sounds badass.
I think that’s about all I can offer without knowing more about your interests or situation. If you or anyone has other grad school related questions, feel free to slide into my DMs, but keep in mind that I’m a total dumbass and have spent most of the last 6 years squandering every opportunity given to me. Anyway thanks for reading here’s a moth.