Reminder to self: Life is NOT a race

Okay, as several of the other blogs I follow have mentioned recently – they’ve been a bit slack.  So have I (on the blogging front anyways).  But I’ve been busy on my PhD.  YES folks, it’s true.  With my final year staring (glaring menacingly?) me in the face, I have finally found some super charged motivation to finish this beast!  I spent all weekend in the lab, carrying out experiments.  A weekend, people (probably just the first of many).  Hopefully I will be finished with my current set of experiments by mid-March.  My current set of experiments, by the way, is part 1 of 3.  So that leaves me 12 months to carry out parts 2 AND 3 (both of which I have to develop the methods and carry out, oh, and I’ve only got a bit of an idea of what each will entail, btw), and finish the write-up of my entire 100,000 word thesis…

Okay, so when put like that it doesn’t seem quite AS feasible as in my head when I see myself diligently working away and achieving heaps (like a superstar student) but still…  I can and will finish this thing.  AND SOON.

Why so soon, you ask?  Because I am tired of being a broke student.  I need a job.  A full-time high paying job for a person who is highly qualified.  I even feel confident that there is a job out there, waiting for me, and I will be compensated in more than peanuts (hello, student loans) and I will finally no longer be the destitute student.

Honestly, I feel my friends transitioning into this strange world of adulthood.  Yet here I am in the time warp of “student”.  I am pretty sure my parents would love for me to be a true adult (aka: financially independent, possibly even with some assets, like a house).  So that is why my goal for submitting my thesis is my 30th birthday.  It can’t possibly be respectable to be a student still into one’s 30s.  ; )

Not that life is a race or anything, but if it was, grad school puts you behind.  Way, way, waaayyyyy behind.  Haha, the things we only learn/realize long after we are committed grad students.  While your friends are out there living their lives, owning houses (buying assets), developing careers (not just jobs, mind you, full fledged careers.  This means money.  401k.  I bet your friends are even thinking about their retirements!  You’re thinking about next week’s rent…), and having kids (and saving for their colleges)…

You’re writing a thesis…  and pretty much just behaving like you are still a student (except now you have a greater repertoire of recipes to cook, and you like nicer things).

It’s kind of amazing that your friends are still friends with you.  You have not actually achieved any of the things you were “supposed to.”  [ when you think about it, you’re actually this close to being a complete failure, in that standard life achievement terms] In a word, Grad School messes with your life!!

(As an aside: It’s not just me that thinks this.  Honestly ask nearly anyone who has done a PhD and they will tell you the same).

Now, this is not a “woe is Becca” post.  It is true, I am a poor, practically impoverished student.  But I have some letters after my name.  And an expensive piece of paper.  And a big thick book with my name in gold lettering.  And soon I will have all of that again (plus the photos of me in the funny hat, lets not forget those!).  Oh, and I also have a “wealth of experiences”.  Or at least, that is what I keep reassuring myself with.

But it probably means I won’t be able to (afford to) have kids until I’m like 35.  And marriage?  Can we say Courthouse or elopement (I mean, what is a marriage license, like 50 bucks or something vs. an actual wedding coming in at 28k?!  Haha.)?  Yeah, if life was a race, I’d barely be off the blocks or outta the gate.  Thank God life isn’t a race, because I have some catching up to do.


2 thoughts on “Reminder to self: Life is NOT a race

  1. Hey dear sister!! Hang in there with feeling burdened with “I’m sick of being a broke student!” emotions. That does stink, seriously. BUT on the up side — it’s great that you’re fulfilling this dream and getting your PhD now, at your current life stage. Trying to do what you’re doing WITH a spouse and kids is like … seemingly impossible. Trying to pay a mortgage, day care costs, student loans etc. while pursuing a PhD would give a person an anxiety attack.

    So remember that what you’re doing is AMAZING — so, so few people in this world can cut it. But you’re taking actions now so that when you do launch yourself professionally, you’ll have more opportunities and be empowered to make choices that resonate with you. A lot of people are stuck where they are — you’ll have so many more doors open to you and cooler career paths available. 🙂

    • Renee always steals my replies.
      Ditto what she said!
      I am a proud sister. Quite often I brag about you and my other amazing sisters and all of their incredible accomplishments….

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