For the past year and half I have devoted majority of my time to grad school. Even though I still have a few months left, it feels like my time as a student is coming to an inevitable end all too soon. Gone will be the days where I get to wake up whenever I want, stay up however late I want, and skip class when I don’t feel like it and just have a “me” day. As irresponsible as that sounded, I am very studious about my school work, and my attitude towards grad school is still very devoted. If I told you grad school was all a piece of cake, I would be lying. There were nights of paper writing into the wee hours of the morning, and there were also days where I saw the night more than I saw daylight. But there were also classes that were laughably easy and I couldn’t believe I was calling it “grad school”. Soon, I’ll be back to the 9-5 grind that made me go back into school the first place. What will be my thoughts then? There will be no escaping the “real world” as my boyfriend likes to call it whenever he feels that I am being a spoiled brat. I do feel a bit spoiled and privileged being in grad school, but I think I have earned my right to be here for the time being.
Truth is, I am excited, sad, and torn between the thought of going back to work. First off, with the economy still in the ditch, and there’s nothing more depressing the going to an interview where 50 other people are there for the same job and 1/2 of them are more experienced and better qualified for the job than you are. I truly believe that finding the right job is a cross between a little bit of science, a lot of luck, and bit of art thrown in. It has been years since I went to an interview. How will my interview skills hold up then? Last time I was in an interview I was interviewing other people. To be on the other side of the table again makes me very nervous.
Once graduated, I think I will miss the freedom of being a student, and the people of academia more than anything else. I will no longer be surrounded by people who are eager to learn about new and exciting things, and are passionate about what they are researching. One of my favorite things about grad school in comparison to undergrad is that people’s attitude towards learning is very different. Everyone who has made it to grad school wants to be there a 110% of the time, and are eager to do their work and put the time and effort in everything they do. Obviously there are outliers, but the fact of the matter is most of the time, that’s how graduate students feel.
Coming to an inevitable end, finishing grad school is like closing another chapter in my life. As a 26 year old, it also means it’s time to finally grow up.