On the occasion of her 25th birthday, Samantha Holland sat down to create her five-year road map for her journey to the big 3-0. Her list read simply: “Really think about going to grad school.”
“In five years’ time, I want to know myself, and where I stand on the issue of going to grad school,” said Holland as she browsed the cardigan sweaters and leather mini backpacks at J. Crew.
Holland has reconnected with her high school guidance counselor to help advise her on her journey to thinking about getting an advanced degree. “Samantha is a bright young woman with varied interests and a great deal of maturity,” says Ellen Werber. “She might maybe someday probably or probably not want to end up at grad school.”
Holland’s friend, Teresa Hersh, is skeptical of her friend’s plan to think about planning for maybe going back to school or not going back to school. “She hasn’t saved any money whatsoever. Every time we go shopping, she points to a giant infinity scarf and says, ‘This would be perfect for grad school’ and we say, ‘Have you applied yet?’ and she says, ‘No, just thinking about it,’” says Hersh. “Since she made her five-year plan, hypothetical grad school is literally all she talks about. Who cares that I had a baby?”
Holland’s area of study is up in the air as well. “Maybe I’ll study philosophy, or maybe writing, or maybe even law!” She likes to daydream about thinking about going to grad school while on break from her retail job. “For the past three years, I’ve just been working at a pet store. For the next five years, I’d like to be working at a pet store and thinking about going to grad school.”
Holland’s Facebook account shows just how serious she is about this undertaking of deliberating on whether she’ll make a decision. Recent statuses include:
“HIVEMIND: Where would you rather live for two years: College Park, Maryland or Chapel Hill, North Carolina? I might be going to Grad School!”
“Are y’all ever curious about Anthropological Russian Studies? Just me? Hmmm…..”
“Can’t STOP watching Good Will Hunting! Wheeeee!”
However, those close to her think she may not being seeing the big picture. “Whenever I take her to a bookstore, she walks right past the GRE text books and straight to the Deepak Chopra section to scour books about finding your true path,” says Holland’s mother, Tricia. “I don’t think she realizes you have to take a test to even qualify for grad school. You don’t just decide to go or not go.”
When confronted about said test, Holland replied, “There are only dissertations in grad school. How cool would it be if I could say I wrote a dissertation?”
At press time, Holland was wondering what sorts of textbooks she would look interesting while reading.