Tuesday, November 14, 2006

So what do you want to do with the rest of your life?

I've been pretty down on myself for not really working on my exams. I am so lost, I have but no clue what I'm supposed to do. Really. And it doesn't help that my closest friend in the department doesn't know either. And? She's been studying for a year. Oh no!

But I've come to a realization. I am pretty young. I think I have some time. And there are other things in my life that take priority over self-imposed deadlines. I had originally planned to take the damned prelims this spring. Standing in my way is the fact that I've signed on for another class at the school I'm teaching for now, and also I have two classes, one of my own design, guh! at my own school. Owwww. When in the hell am I going to study, I can't even get started with my one measly prep! One advantage is that the course I'm designing (read- googling madly for other peoples' syllabi) is related to my proposed specialty.

Well, ladies and gents, I've decided. I think it's more important to get a house than it is to get my exams over with. I want to do them well. It's the only time in my life where I get to study, and I am going to do that to death.

To get a house, I need to teach. I need to build up contacts and pretty much take every job I can get. If I continue to do so, Kev and I can get a house. And I think a house would certainly help in the "being-able-to-study-more-effectively" department.

I am trying to relax about the whole process. I think I need to take my time in grad school. I am young and need to take this time to build up some contacts, get some conferences in, and enjoy my time as a non-tenure seeking individual.

I even think a baby might fit into this equation. What better time than right after we get a house to procreate, right?

Trying to get through really fast seemed like a good idea at first, because I guess I had something to prove. But there is more to life than a PhD. I want to live my life, and I want to stop living on hold. So what if I have to apply for extensions of time.

I am thrilled with my new plan. I feel like a load has been lifted. And I didn't even freak out when my stupid private loans came due. And I can't defer them, and I basically need 600 bucks like yesterday. I was in collections? My gah, I really thought I could defer forever, but I guess not. Oh well, at least those Stafford loans are still deferrable.


dear wife said...

Doesn't always feel good to finally make a tough deciscion. There is nothing wrong with taking your time in grad school if your program allows it. Hey it was not until my third year of my masters (and after a bit of a hiatus) that I finally figured out what I wanted to do. So I will probably take 5-6 ears to get a masters, what does that really matter. What is important is my family and finally finding the right path for me. Now if only I could get ZD off my back on how that extra time is racking up more student loans, at least I can defer all mine till I am finished.

Frema said...

I totally agree with you. I spent three years in grad school taking four classes a year. Most of my classmates opted for the two-year plan, but I was able to really concentrate on the classes I took, and I did well in all of them. I really miss being in that environment.

I'm not very happy in my current job, and I'm not really sure what would make me happy. I would love to explore teaching. However, I bring home a pretty good paycheck, and Luke and I want to buy a house in the next year or two, just like you guys, AND I want to be a stay-at-home (or at least part-time working-from-home) mom, so that dream will have to take a backseat while we save up the money to make all that other stuff happen.

Wow, I just vomited in your comments section, when I could have easily just said, I feel you, sister.

Anonymous said...

I was told that the average age of a recent Ph.D. "grad" (can't think of a better word) is 41 years old! So look at all the time you have. If it makes you feel better, my brother's ex-fiancee has taken EIGHT YEARS to get her ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE!! and still doesn't have it. Now THAT'S problematic.