The first day of school

Back in the classroom


Yesterday, my children went back to school. But today was my turn: I officially started graduate school.

I am now an M.A. student at the University of South Carolina studying communications. I’m going to work on my degree part-time over the next few years with an eye towards eventually pursuing a Ph.D.

In some ways, this has been in the works for almost 15 years. I decided then that I wanted to start working on a terminal degree, even going as far as touring several schools. But for various reasons, I was never ready to make the jump. 

This January, I revisited the idea of returning to graduate school. I scheduled an appointment with the graduate coordinator at the South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication to talk over my options. I left energized and excited. I talked about my plans with my wife, my friends and some faculty members that I know well. And every time I explained why I wanted to head back to school, I became even more convinced that the time was right.

I assembled everything that I needed for my application and prepared for the GRE. I actually did pretty well on the GRE — even the analytical section — a significant accomplishment considering the last math class I took was AP Calculus in high school. Honestly, I was just as excited to get my graduate school acceptance letter as I was to get my undergraduate acceptance letter 25 years ago.

I’m thrilled for this new chapter. To make time for my new classwork load, I’m scaling back some of my side projects and commitments, so you won’t see me around Columbia and social media as much. I look forward to learning more about formal academic research and getting to know my fellow graduate students and faculty. 

My first day of graduate school picture. Photo by my daughter, Norah.

My first day of graduate school picture. Photo by my daughter, Norah.

Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, grad student, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. He recently finished a project to design a new shirt a week for an entire year. Follow Bob on Instagram and Micro.Blog.