I started grad school today. This has been a long time coming.
I have a BS in Manufacturing Engineering, which I got in 2007. In the summer of 2006 I met up with a bunch of people during my internship who were ... very successful, but also very privileged individuals to put it plainly. I sort of had a crush on all of them. They exposed me to to another world of different types of opportunities, that I hadn't really considered myself a part of. They were all talking about and going to grad school and I felt I was just as smart as them too. I had wanted to go grad school too, but now it felt more possible.
Then the internship ended, and reality returned. It seemed then that no one I knew was going to grad school. My parents were not particularly supportive of the idea either. I think they saw it as a bit pie in the sky, and a heedless career move. I didn't give up right away though. I studied for the GRE... by myself, as no one else I knew was studying for the GRE. I then took the GRE ... and I got a horrible score. It actually wasn't that horrible, but I knew it was less than I needed/wanted to get into my preferred program. My parents appeared to think the phase would now pass, and my friends didn't seem to understand why I was upset about scoring low on a test they didn't care about.
So I sort of gave up.
I still wanted to go though.
I worked as an engineer, and while I did that I learned that people who had grad degrees were given better options in the field. These jobs were more research focused, which is more akin to what I like to do. I think a non-grad school guy at Medtronic referred to himself as 'an Engineering Grunt"... and remember that sinking in as the reality when he said it... even though Medtronic was by far the best place I worked. At this time, I was also realizing that engineering wasn't an ideal fit for me... but I do wonder if I would have felt differently if I had been in a different role, one that grad school might have afforded.
I did apply to and start a grad program in 2008. Took one class. The program was a Master's in Career Education. I stopped taking it because I got married and my life went to shit. (Condensed version: That marriage ended)
Anyway, 6 plus years ago I started working at a technical college teaching developmental math classes. In this field it is advantageous to get as much education as possible. I started thinking that the best option for me would be a Master's in Math because it would afford me certain credentialing, even though I knew my heart was with Education. In order to get into a Masters in Math program I needed more Math classes, which basically meant getting another bachelor's. I got my BS in Applied Math in 2015. By the time I reached the end of that degree I realized that regardless of it's career benefits there was no way I could put myself through a Master's in Math program and remain sane. Secondarily, I couldn't find a MS. Math program that was funded my institution and fit with my schedule. So, I settled for a MS in Technology Education that would be funded and met my interests even if not quite on career objectives. However, the summer before I started to apply, I was informed of a program that would be funded, is online (fits my schedule) and meets the math credentialing. It's a Master's in Education with Emphasis in Math... finally! By the way, this whole bit is the condensed version, I have researched dozens of programs before settling on the final verdict.
Also, took the GRE in 2015, and got above 94 percentile in Math and 74 percentile in English... so boo yeah!