With commencement coming next week, graduating SF State students are getting ready to take the next step in their lives. For many that will mean beginning their professional careers and some will continue their education in graduate school.

Alena Chavez, 22, will be continuing in SF State’s philosophy department for her master’s degree after she finishes her bachelor’s as part of an accelerated program through the department. Chavez said that though she is excited by the opportunity to continue her studies, she feels worn out from completing her first degree.

“I think if you have the capacity and want to further your education in that way then you should do it,” Chavez said. “I still do have worries about mental health stuff and not taking a gap year, I kind of regret jumping into grad school right away. But it’s only a year.”

Social work major Ivy Rose said that for the same reason and financial costs she will be putting off any plans for grad school in the immediate future.

“It costs so much money and my brain feels fried from the years of schoolwork and I just think that if I were to go now I wouldn’t enjoy myself at all,” Rose said.

Rose also said that she wants to make up her mind about graduate school in a few years when she has saved more money and had more relevant work experience.

Michael Wang, who will receive his master’s degree in nursing next week, took a similar approach before deciding to come back to school for his graduate work.

Wang became interested in nursing after graduating from SF State with a bachelor’s degree in Family and Computer Sciences. He said that returning to school to pursue a different profession was the right choice for him.

“It was a career change,” Wang said. “I felt like this program was very supportive, I had really good classmates, I had professors who were easy to reach.”

Julie Chelli, a Hospitality and Tourism Management major, is also ready to stop being a student for a while.

“As of right now, I’ve been going to school for literally my whole life,” Chelli said. “It’s been taking away from my actual life. I don’t have time to do anything, I really just want to be done.”

Chelli also said she has no personal interest in going to graduate school, but still thinks about it because of her parents.

“I do feel a lot of pressure from my parents to continue my education even further which frustrates me, I don’t understand why they want that so bad,” Chelli said. “If my career asks for it, then probably I’ll go back.”

Rose said she has also seen people pursue graduate school because of pressure from others, even if it was not what they themselves wanted.

“I think people should check with themselves before they go to grad school if it’s what they really, really, really want to do or if it’s what they feel like they’re supposed to do,” Rose said.