When do you enjoy most being a grad student? from my experience I found the following important facts.
- Its passion which drives you, not Money.
- When you start seeing the beauty behind what you study.
- When you have an advisor who is simply great!
The first year I'm into my graduate studies. I always felt that that I should get of UCONN as soon as possible just by getting a M.S degree. But as things went on I really started liking to be a graduate student. I started setting up my own goals rather than some one giving me list of things, and as I started get deep into the field of Combinatorics and Algorithms I started to feel that I need more mathematics for my analysis and now I decided to apply for a M.S degree in Mathematics. My mindset had definitely changed I started to feel that "THERE IS NO SHORTCUT TO SUCCESS". My desire for doing quality work has been getting stronger and stronger and now I'm in a situation that I cannot imagine myself without a PhD and some real and original contribution Algorithmic theory. I guess the only time in your life when sky seems a limit is only during graduate student life. If you really want you can be extremely productive and much professional than any guy working in the industry.
I think I have written soo much of code as a graduate student rather than in the industry, because in the industry when you have contributed to your project you feel good, your boss comes and praises you and then you start taking breaks and your productivity falls, you want to take breaks on weekends and I feel that people become very COMPLACENT once they get into industry. I find that passion and drive which a graduate has is totally lacking in industry.
I feel that one should not change if the environment around him keeps changing. I have so much of advice from my friends to apply for a big school for PhD rather than UCONN. I really don't understand why these guys are so afraid of life, I think these people have no confidence on them selfs but they feel secured only with TAG of a big school they think thats going to save them all the life. Lets take an example consider a PhD from the best university in the world call him X and consider a guy who is not at all a PhD and might have some undergraduate degree but has studied all the Volumes of Donald.E.Knuth and worked out all the exercises himself if far far far wiser than a a guy with a PhD from a top school with a mediocre dissertation.