January 23, 2012

Writing, writing, writing

I'm in the final couple months of my graduate program and have found my time consumed with writing. This is a good thing -- it means that I'm close to my long awaited goal and can get on with the rest of my life. I've been in school continuously my whole life and am eager for a change of scenery and responsibility. I've noticed, however, that some of my friends don't share my excitement. In fact, they seem to want me to stay exactly as I am. I suspect they are projecting their own insecurities onto me, but it is peculiar.

Do some graduate students really think that this is all there is to life? Being told by a committee what classes to take, what experiments to conduct, and what direction to take your career?

What about controlling your own destiny? I want to be wholly responsible for my own success or failure. I want to tell people what I do in a sentence, rather than have to explain for 10 minutes how, yes, I get paid to be a graduate student, but no, I don't really make any of the decisions, and yes, my committee holds absolute control over my educational (i.e. degree) and financial (i.e. paycheck) future.

It is a shame that when someone says, "I'm really excited about finishing up and starting the next chapter of my life" the other person doesn't answer with, "I'm excited for you too".