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Posts Tagged ‘GREs are to grad school as…’

1990:

2012:

And still with the same propensity for bright colored graduation shoes:

This weekend was amazing. I felt so incredibly lucky to have my parents, BNF, and so many friends come out and celebrate with me.

If you start in the middle and work around, the cupcakes read “Congrats Epod,” courtesy of MJ! Those cupcakes were in high demand at the bar.

The past two years have both dragged on and flown by, if that makes any sense. And while I’m glad I went back for my degree, I can’t say that I’ll miss being a student.

Remember future-Elizabeth, we’re done with school now.

Cheers to that!

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No more staying up until the wee hours of the morning to finish a paper that I put off until the last possible second, because I just turned in my LAST FINAL PAPER EVER!

I’m not sure I even felt this excited at the end of undergrad.

I’ve been bouncing up and down in my desk chair, and my cheeks literally hurt from the shit-eating grin (an expression I still don’t understand) I’ve been wearing.

I am done.

And it feels amazing.

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I can count on one hand the number of classes I have left.

I can count on the other the number of assignments I have left to turn in.

To get to graduation I still need all my fingers and toes (and an extra hand), but it’s a far cry from where I was when I first got the senioritis bug.

I feel giddy. And anxious. But mostly giddy.

Because graduating means never again having to say:

No thanks. I’m spending all Saturday at the library.

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I have been feeling increasingly unmotivated and unenthusiastic during this last semester of grad school. I have been procrastinating even more than usual and doing fewer and fewer of the readings.

(Oddly, I have also found myself participating more in class, which perhaps means that my bullshitting skills have increased over the past year and a half.)

As I was describing all this to PiC, she told me what was going on in no uncertain terms: “You have senioritis.”

Huh.

She has a point. All the symptoms are there (minus the truancy/skipping class…for now). And it’s definitely worse when the weather is nice. It has all the makings of senioritis.

But, seriously, who gets senioritis during only a two year program?

Maybe the time has nothing to do with it. Maybe it’s just inevitable to get that slacking urge when you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

You know you’re so close that you could practically coast the rest of the way. Besides, it’s not like anyone wants to fail you. Right?

I think that’s what’s going on here. In 12 weeks, I’ll officially have my degree. In 10 weeks, though, I’ll have turned in every last final and will have my life back. My weekends, my evenings, my sanity, my money for things other than books and tuition – they will all be mine again.

Hopefully that motivation will be enough to power me through the next 70 days.

Because I just don’t care enough to try to find another cure.

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This morning, bright and early, I registered for classes for my very last semester of grad school.

The current semester will be over in just 5 weeks, and in 5.5 months I’ll be completely finished and able to add “M.A.” after my name. That doesn’t seem so very long in the grand scheme of things.

Of course, that doesn’t account for the final papers, the presentations, or the foreign language exit exam (anyone want to practice speaking French with me?), which I’m sure will make the months feel longer, but there is an end in sight.

I never have to register for classes again!” I told BNF triumphantly this morning (or, at least, as triumphantly as I could muster before I’d had my first diet coke).

Yeah,” he said. “Just wait until you decide to get your PhD.

No way. I don’t even want that.

You say that now – but, that’s just 26-year-old Elizabeth. Who knows what 36 or even 46-year-old Elizabeth will want?

Now, I’m sure that he’s wrong. I’m sure that I’ll remember this feeling of being so close to done, and I won’t want to go back. But, just in case…

Listen up, future-Elizabeths:

You do not want your PhD. You do not want to be a professor or an academic. You don’t want to write a book that some poor future grad students are going to be forced to read. It’s not for you.

And when you think, oh, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to go back to school…just remember how much you love your free weekends.

Plus, think how OLD you’ll feel trying to pull an all-nighter at 46. If you can’t even do it now, there’s not a lot of hope for you 20 years down the road.

Stay sane.

Love,

26-year-old Elizabeth

There. That ought to do it.

Now – is it April yet?

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“So you can see from the syllabus that you have your first policy analysis due next week. You’ll notice that I didn’t give you a whole lot of guidelines on what it’s supposed to look like. Just do your best.

On the bright side, you’re all in the same boat!”

This is not a boat I want to be in.

Especially not without my water wings.

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Two weeks from today I’ll be starting my final year of grad school.

Among other concessions, this means that I’ll be forgoing pleasure reading in favor of things like articles on Pakistan and Islamists; political analysis regarding African issues; and reports of peacekeeping operations around the world.

Interesting stuff, to be sure, but nothing that I’d take to the beach.

And that’s where you all (i.e. whoever still reads after I’ve gone on so many unannounced hiatuses) come in.

I may not be going back to the beach this summer, but I do still have two weeks left to read for fun and I’m looking for recommendations.

There are a few things on my list right now, but I’d love your suggestions. A girl’s to-read list can never be too long.

Plus, even when classes do start up, it’ll be nice to have something on my bedside table that isn’t related to international affairs.

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