I wanted to say THANKS to all the wonderful GTers who gave their advice and perspectives on my Exercise in Futility. I truly appreciate the feedback (and the funnies!). It gave me more food for thought before making a decision.
I did pinpoint why I’ve started thinking about it. My department is going through a merger process, and I am anxious about where I am going to end up when the shuffle is done. I currently am a direct report to my boss, whom I LOVE, and under the new structure, I will have to report to a supervisor rather report directly. I have pretty unlimited freedom to exercise my own judgement and to act on things without getting pre-approval right now. That will change. If I get a bad draw and get “that” supervisor, it will be disastrous. Nothing has been determined, yet, but if I get the short straw, grad school and a transfer to a different department will definitely move the pendulum from maybe to almost definitely. Autonomy is important to me - more so than I thought before reflecting on your input. So again, thanks!