I never thought about it much (if at all) during high school, but since I started college, I’ve been asked if I’m considering a PhD more than once. It caught me off-guard the first time. I brushed it off, assuming it wasn’t realistic, and that belief continued for a while. After all, all of the PhD students I’ve met talk about it so comfortably that it seems like they’ve known it was for them their whole life. While a few of the graduate students I know set their hearts on a PhD early in their academic careers, talking to them about it revealed that most of them didn’t decide until they were well into or almost done with a college degree already.
I still haven’t decided either way since it’s quite the commitment, but it seems much more reasonable now that I’ve multitasked experiments of my own, maintained a lab notebook, gone to lab meetings, and attended preliminary talks. I’m planning to complete a master’s degree regardless, so I’m hoping that that experience will help me decide by then if I haven’t, in addition to giving me a little more time to choose.
The other question I’ll need to answer is whether or not I want to stay in academia or go into the industry. Though I do love working in a university research lab, I’m leaning more towards the industry in order to have a schedule I think I’d prefer.