Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Is this really it?

Yesterday afternoon at approximately 2 p.m. I completed the last step of my master's degree: dropping off five copies of my thesis at the university bookstore for binding and filling out roughly two pages of paperwork. It was all quite anti-climatic, really. The clerk at the bookstore said "congratulations," and I walked back into the sunlight a completely different person, but nobody seemed to notice. Maybe I didn't even notice. All I did was get on my bike and bike home.

But when I arrived at my house some five minutes later, I found myself lacking one identity as a student as well as one certain purpose in life. It was a little disorienting. For the last four years whenever I meet somebody and they say, "what do you do?" I have always been able to answer, "I'm a grad student." It's a satisfying answer for someone of my age. It seems to fit my station in life. But now when strangers ask, what do I tell them? Unfortunately, being a "graduate," only seems to get one so far. People expect you do something more. Instead of the follow-up question of, "Oh, what's your major," now I get, "So what do you do for money?" The distress was enough to motivate me to post my resume on monster.com. Geez. I guess I'll be exploring this in subsequent posts. Also, I have to fill you in on the last month of excitement. And then there's the little issue of my top-secret, new website. More to come!

62 comments:

Pj Perez said...

Seriously, I am so proud of you. But you should know that.

Alex said...

As I stand on the threshold of beginning my own thesis I both envy you and congratulate you. It must feel good.

Patrick Sizemore said...

Just making sure you haven't jumped off the existential bridge. :-D

Miserable Grad Student said...

Thanks for the concern. I'm still safe on solid ground. I'll be updating soon with news on my fab new post-graduation life.

John Ettorre said...

Congratulations, MGS. You'll do just fine, I think.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!
I have social anxiety so I do not get in touch with students. that being said, they all act so confident and know what the hell is going on except of course me. I know it may sound mean but I am glad that it is not as easy as a piece of cake as they make it looks like!

Anonymouse said...

Man, I envy you. And I know what you've gone through, as I am currently working on my thesis, for like, the last 2 years now...

I am a freelance webdeveloper, work I'd much rather do than working on my thesis. I haven't completely stopped my job to devote myself to my thesis, despite several attempts. My job kept me from fully concentrating on my thesis, which started an endless cycle of procrastinating from my thesis by working, then feeling bad about delaying my study, going back to studying and finding that my job was much more fun and gratifying, which led me to accept yet another small job.

I am more concentrated now, and I have minimalized my job, also because I just want to get this thesis behind me. I know that feeling of 'my thesis is keeping me from enjoying life', but that's not fair. It's my life, my responsibility to make it enjoyable. What helps me in those cases is realizing that it's my choice to finish that thesis. If I really didn't care about it, I could stop right now and go back to my job full time.

RIght, this is turning into a blog post itself, maybe I'll finally start that blog...

hella adequate said...

Did doing a thesis actually help you out in the end?

Anonymous said...

wow, great there are ppl around the world sharing my feelings. i am about to finish (finilally) my master's, and i am soooo excatly feeling through all you have felt and experienced. congratulations btw. :)

Leonard Desir said...

I think that's always nerve racking when you have to take that next step. You never know where you might go but I guess its just best to hope for the best.

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