Life after school

Okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve graduated from grad school.

Well not a WHIIIILE, but some time. Anyway, I graduated with my Master’s from Florida State University in May 2010, and now I am back at the point of figuring out my next step education wise. I would get more in to it, but 1. I don’t want to jinx it, and 2. I don’t need the internet world telling me things like “Oh, you shouldn’t do that” or “Why would you want to go back to school?” or “Do you hate fun?”, so until I know exactly what I’m going to do, keep in mind that I do plan on going back to school.

What that, I want to share something from my favorite website, Thought Catalog. It’s a little article on 26 Fun Facts about Grad School. I thought it was pretty hilarious–so funny that I read it aloud while my roommate tried to focus on reading her book about the KGB. Okay, the likelihood of her reading about the KGB is slim to none, but that sounded way more interesting than what she actually is reading.

Without further ado, here is Ted Pillow‘s 26 Fun Facts About Grad School:

  1. Being a grad student is twice the work of being an undergrad and only half of the fun. No, I’m just kidding — it’s none of the fun. 
  2. I hope you like reading. Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha! Excuse me while I jump out of a high window with the five weighty text books I’ve been assigned this semester strapped to my torso.
  3. You have no idea where the f—k anything on your campus is except the two or three buildings you have class in. Absolutely true. I recently went back to give a guest lecture at my grad school. One of the professors wanted to show me the changes around campus. He tried to point out buildings X,Y, and Z. I made comments like “oh wow, what a nice building!” to buildings that have been there since the late 80’s. Grad School 1 Caroline 0. 
  4. Despite what you may have learned as an undergrad, Thursday night is a weeknight. You’re expected to wake up early and get stuff done the next day and everything. Crazy, right?
  5. You’re also expected to refrain from drinking Sunday through Wednesday —including day drinking. Seriously.
  6. There’s a good chance that you’re a commuter student. Enjoy lugging 60 lbs of text books with you every day and dealing with gas prices/parking/public transportation. Remember that you are paying exorbitant amounts of money for these privileges.
  7. Believe it or not, you actually have high expectations for the rigor and quality of your classes. Having a half-witted, drooling simpleton for a teacher has lost a bit of its luster, even if they are an easy grader. You find yourself wondering, “What did I get from this class? Was it really worth my time?”
  8. You have absolutely no school spirit. You’re pretty sure your school’s colors are a light color and a dark color, but you can’t remember which ones. You also think your school’s mascot is a half-man, half-goat with black eyes that tells you to burn things, but, then again, you haven’t slept for days because you have five finals next week. Maybe you should go take a nap or something. Pretty sure FSU’s mascot IS what was described. GO CANES! 
  9. You also have no knowledge of campus events. When you see people gathering joyously in the school plaza, you’re not sure if they are celebrating a national football title/tuition decrease/campaign victory, recreating the end of an 80s comedy, or just overturning a pharmaceutical delivery truck filled with Adderall.
  10. Speaking of which, you got any Adderall? It’s, uh, for a friend… Ned. Ned Pillow.
  11. There’s one student that everyone in your program hates and loves to gossip about. Since graduate school usually means taking a lot of classes with the same people, this is a nice way to give everyone something to talk about. You hear things like: “God, did you see that skirt she wore yesterday? This is grad school, not a frat party!” and “If she raises her hand one more time, I’m gonna throw my desk at her. Like, the entire desk.”
  12. If you don’t think the above is true, you are that person.
  13. If you’re not in a serious relationship, you’ve started to feel really, really self-conscious about the percentage of your classmates that are in serious relationships.
  14. You periodically return to where you did undergrad for a fun-filled weekend with your old friends. You leave completely amazed that you were able to live like that for four years. Absolutely. 
  15. You’ve gotten to know your professors a little too well, including a lot of unnecessary details about their personal lives. They might even invite you over to their house for dinner with their family one day. You may think this is a little odd at first, but you’ll justify it as a good opportunity to further a relationship that could be beneficial to you. But you shouldn’t, because they’re probably planning to kill you. Try and remember: did they say “I’d love for you to come over and have dinner with my family” or “My family and I would love to have you for dinner”? Think hard, because this is the difference between Mr. Feeny and Hannibal Lecter.
  16. Your daily planner looks less like the responsibilities of one person and more like the projected plans of a small government or Fortune 500 company.
  17. You drink coffee. Large, large cups of dark, dark coffee. “Thank god for caffeine!” you shout nervously at confused strangers, attempting to conceal your involuntary facial twitches as you take enormous strides down crowded hallways.
  18. Your professors and advisors continually make cryptic remarks about the importance of a resume/cover letter/portfolio/etc. You spend a great deal of time fretting over what is essentially the corporate version of a Facebook profile.
  19. You’ve done some truly inspired doodling, including that sketch of an urbane giraffe wearing a three-piece suit that you swear was a work of art but you’re pretty sure you accidentally threw out.
  20. You’ve developed incredible arcane, esoteric knowledge that is only useful in a professional/academic capacity. You overhear people at social gatherings talking about “last night’s game” or The Avengers, and you interject with observations about the complex nature of post-colonial economics or the sculptures of the Byzantine Empire. People look at you funny and slowly slink away, avoiding eye contact.
  21. You fondly remember the time when it seemed acceptable to wear sweatpants and a t-shirt to class. Um… it is never acceptable to wear sweatpants out. 
  22. Due to your overwhelming schedule, you’ve had to sacrifice old habits like healthy eating, recreational sports, and working out. Somewhere around February, you looked down and realized that you are the size of a mid-level commercial airliner. But don’t fret, that IKEA bean bag chair you call a stomach makes a nice paperweight for holding your text books open while you read.
  23. You’ve made a few really good friends. But, you’ve also met a lot of people that are really more acquaintances than friends. I mean, they’re cool and all, but they’re not going on your MySpace Top 8 or anything. What is a MySpace? (Just kidding, people, I don’t live under a rock).
  24. You realize that you squandered a lot of opportunities as an undergrad.
  25. You’re pretty sure that “graduate student” is an oxymoron, but you didn’t realize it until your final semester.
  26. You’re probably excessively worried about that thesis/final project/research paper your program requires for graduating, but you shouldn’t be — you’ll be dead long before then.

So here’s to you, my graduate student friend[s]: Keep on keepin’ on!

And now I delve back in to the world of researching further education. How many more letters can I add to the back of my last name–especially since I’m not adding any to the beginning of my first any time soon? I’ve got jokes today.




One Comment Add yours

  1. Maria :) says:

    Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha haha!


    Although I must say the mascot thing doesn’t apply here. We’re just one color, and it’s darker than that OTHER school’s, so that’s all I have to keep straight.

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