I'm new to this forum and am mainly asking for advice. -- From a conflicted rising junior in undergrad (at an Ivy).
I'm an engineer majoring in ECE with interests in CS (definitely planning on a minor, and if sanity is sacrificed a bit, a double). I've been doing research with a professor in my major and his lab since last summer, after freshman year. So far, I've coauthored one paper that has already been presented at a conference by the first author grad student but hasn't officially been published yet. I know a lot of the advice I've read is to experience industry at least once, which I'm planning on doing the summer before senior year.
However, I'm conflicted as to whether I'm actually fit for grad school. A lot of the questions I ask myself are, "Do I like research enough? Am I motivated enough?" I definitely enjoy doing research and the topics I can explore with it, as well as the flexibility of hours and such. Often during the semesters I find myself wanting to put more time into research and less on my equally important classes.
Part of me tells myself I should just find a job and settle, perhaps go for a masters. However, another ambitious part of me tells myself to go for a Ph.D. I'm quite conflicted about my path since my past semester was a wreck. My grades were unsatisfactory (1 C and 2 C+'s in major-related classes and a math class) due to my taking of 22 credits (includes 2 research credits -- an A) which tanked my GPA to a 3.1, which isn't horrible, but not ideal.
How do I decide whether I should start prepping for grad school? (Consider that there is an M.Eng program at my school that does not require a GRE, but does require a higher GPA ~3.5.)