Though its not completely official, I'm now one of the first of the class of 2008 to know what I'm doing after Olin. The professor I worked under this summer greatly encouraged me to apply to his department in terms that all but assured admission and a research assistantship. Since I really enjoyed the work I was doing, liked the lab environment, and believed in the value of the project being worked on, it's hard to say no.
However the gravity of the decision makes it hard to give a definite yes. This is a big commitment. It means another 5 or more years of my life in school, working on the same stuff. It also means living on a research assistantship while other Olin grads will be raking it in. Fortunately I'm in engineering - a field where they pay you to go to graduate school. But more importantly than the money is the opportunities granted by an advanced degree. If I want to do R&D or become a professor, two vocations I'm interested in, a Ph.D. is pretty important.
Getting this decision out of the way is a huge relief. Even though I was only a tiny way through the application process, job hunt, fellowship scramble, etc. I was already feeling a little tense. Its a really time-intensive process and even more so, its really brain-draining. It was incredibly difficult for me to concentrate on "here-and-now" things when my mind was across the country and a year from now. I would really advise undergraduates thinking about graduate school to start looking at whats out there as soon as you can.
With that all said, its time for me do a little catching up on school stuff. . .