Wednesday, May 11, 2005

On Another Note

It's true that grad school sucks. It has destroyed my personal life and made it really, really, really difficult for people who aren't part of it to understand exactly why it's so awful. It's isolating, you can't be afraid for really smart people to read really shitty stuff you write, and the constant turnover of people in and out of your life is a constant struggle.

This last part is what I'm most concerned about. Our department is suffering from a mass exodus of students and faculty. The sad thing is that the grad students aren't leaving because they've graduated and gotten degrees. They are leaving because grad school sucks.

Relationships between grad students are tough sometimes. But our department has a sort of camaraderie that I gather is unusual. My fellow grad students are a huge part of the reason why I have stuck with this difficult lifestyle for so long now. And I am sad that this support system I count on is slowly disintegrating. I know this is selfish, but I can't help it.

I absolutely, positively acknowledge that grad school isn't for everyone. And I admire the courage and pluck it takes to leave it. I wish all the time that I had the guts to say, "hey, I'm done. I'm going to get my master's degree and leave." But what would I do? Where would I go? One of my really good friends in my cohort is leaving. I had dinner with her today and she's leaving. Another one of my friends, who shares somewhat similar research interests as I do, is also leaving. I admire these people tremendously. For realizing that their lives would be better off somewhere else and taking steps to be better off. I will miss both of them so so so so much. I know their lives will be better and happier, but, it's the selfishness inside of me that wants them to stay. I need familiar faces and familiar places and I feel like when all these people leave, I will be lacking these things. The department will become someplace I don't feel comfortable and the people will all be strangers.

Another grad student is leaving because her husband couldn't get a job here. He got a job elsewhere and they are moving away. And I'm sad. I love her, her husband, and her nice ass. But now she's leaving. Another is going to Italy with his wife. Another is going to be teaching in southern Minnesota. Another is graduating (ONE!! - props to him!) and teaching in Canada.

I know that seeing people move on is part of growing up. I know that, in my mind. But in my heart, I want to go back to being a naive first year student who thought everything was going to be okay and we'd all be friends after six years and have PhDs and we'd get jobs and the world would be happy. I don't want to go back to being as unhappy as I was then - just as naive as I was then. But I feel like next year might destroy my chances here. When people leave and the familiarity I am depending on leaves, I don't know if I'll make it through. I'm not good at adapting. It took me a year and half here to feel like I could take a different bus home. I want to get this damn degree and leave, but the constant turnover of academics might be too much for me.

I know that they will be happier. And I wish them well. I love them all. Good luck to them. I will miss them.

1 comment:

  1. Sooner or later, we all move on from this place. The only difference is that for some of us we leave not with a bang (I am sure the beer at Town Hall never tastes finer) but with a whimper.


Template: Blog Designs by Sheila