I’ve been a student longer than most people I know. Definitely longer than any of my friends from school/undergrad. For the most part, I think I’ve been really good about it. Perpetually enthralled by challenging work, held in rapture by obscure courses in obscure departments, actively participating in the most inane events dreamed up by the geekiest of geeks… you name it. I’ve sort of done my time, and for the most part, I’ve had fun doing it.
Though I claim to be all calm, and always try to appear like I’m “effortlessly winging it”, the truth is I’ve at times had to put in the many many hours into figuring out a lot of things. A lot more hours than I am comfortable spending. None of this is really child’s play people, trust me. I am not the dullest tool in the shed, and it sometimes takes me ages to work stuff out.
Anyway, back to what I am trying to say.
I’ve been a student since I was in pre-kindergarten at 2-3 or whatever. I’ve defined my entire life around being a student. It is not one aspect of my life — it IS my life. And then one day, some 20 years later, you wake up and you realize it probably isn’t all that much fun anymore. It is sometimes so taxing that some really psycho masochistic portion of you has to wake and drag the rest of you, kicking and screaming, to make it to the uni.
It’s such times when I look around, and I realize there is no other aspect of my life to fall back on. Nada. Zip. Nothingness. If the going’s rough as a student, as it sometimes can be, I’m basically screwed. While I’m looking around, I see (the lesser educated) people I know who are doing just fine, in their cool offices in high rises, fancy cars, trophy spouses… . They aren’t as qualified, and probably aren’t even as smart, but from what I can see, they’re happy. Happier anyway.
So no, I am not going to do anything nearly as drastic as this. But I have decided to make a not-so-subtle change in my outlook regarding school. From this point on, I will do only the bare minimum (in terms of requirements toward a degree, say, or even number of degrees) and aim at getting done as soon as possible. No more random tack on degrees from other departments, no more “fun” women’s studies classes or languages, no nothing. I take the requirement sheets, check off what I’ve done, and complete the one or two remaining things, and be done with it.
School’s all fun, usually. For when it isn’t, you need a backup plan — a life. Taking it on without a failsafe plan B can and does get annoying.