on the graduation clock. I’m using Friday, May 20, as it is the day of our programs’ recognition ceremony.
On behalf of more than a few of my esteemed colleagues, a quick note to many of our family, friends, and colleagues near and far: we love and miss you and it is SO flattering to have you asking WHERE WE ARE this month.
However. There is the matter of finishing our final projects, which entails coordinating among clients and professors and battling inevitable computer issues. There are other classes, with finals and term papers galore. There is the matter of working wherever we do (well, most of us) to pay our rent. These all seem simple matters, but I assure you, and yes, I’ll play the master’s #2 card here, it just never is. This is also why earning a graduate degree is an accomplishment, the reward for which will be dealing with versions of these problems for the rest of our professional lives. Genius!
Data sets show up unexpectedly (or not at all), people call at the most inopportune times (global consulting is really sexy until you find yourself Skypeing at 2 a.m. for your project–true story!), stipends or paychecks have some heretofore unpredicted glitch, so you’re not even sure you can afford that brownie which is necessary for your well-being, frankly, and amidst all of that some well-meaning soul will lean in smiling and ask how you’re feeling about a) graduating and b) what your plans are.
Ah yes. What your plans are. I’m writing this as a break from working on cover letters, which is my new middle of the night project on weekends. I have been told once too often that our best prospects lie via networking and the hidden job market, after all, so it’s hard to justify doing them at another time!
On another note: a friend commented recently–and she has not been the first to do so–that sometimes I sound so CHEERY about turns of events this year, my overbooked schedule, my growing anxiety over what’s next, and…well, what gives? I’m not literally dancing around downtown (for the most part). I do want to acknowledge one of the tricks involved in blogging something like this experience, though.
First, one of the reasons I signed on to do this years ago (!) was that I knew it would help me stay positive. Even if it is only for the few moments it takes to write this, I’m doing that mental work of framing my week (month?) in forward-thinking, positive terms, because the alternative would only serve as fodder for a really awful Morrissey song. Sorry, kids, I don’t have a newer band to reference there.
Second, in terms of Writer Kristen, I do have a rule about lying, which is that I won’t. I will think of the happiest way to put something, or omit things (mostly the latter) but I do want to reflect some of the complexities of grad school life . So yes, this week is stressful, and this school and this school year have also offered a rich and overwhelming series of experiences. Some you’ve seen, some you won’t, and some I’m saving for the far more scintillating screenplay version of this story.
Back to the career planning now, and thankful that once again in my time of life transition and need, Thom Yorke & Co. saw fit to issue a new album. Thanks, Radiohead!
To our real-life people, too, thanks. We won’t forget your support right now, vicarious or otherwise!