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01 July 2011 @ 04:17 pm
 
Tea last night was relaxing. I looked around the living room and recalled interactions with people from both years in this house. I also remembered staying up all night two nights of spring break in 2010, writing for rarepair_shorts and springtime_gen fests.

Met with Nick. He was lovely, as always. If I get one more look of disappointment/surprise soon for going for a PhD or Masters, though, I think I'm going to explode. (Nick didn't mean for his, I'm sure; it was one of those fleeting immediate reactions.) "So, what are you going to do now?" he originally asked, all innocence and interest. I avoided the question with something else. Eventually it arose again: "What are you going to do now? Though I know you don't like answering that question..." I sighed. "No, not really. I feel bad because people want to hear that I'm going to look into PhDs or getting my Masters or doing something brainy; I'm not doing that. I'm going to go work with precocious, creative teenagers at an American summer camp, then I'm going to stay with my parents as we wish my brother off to his second year of university and then I'll look into moving to Providence. Jobs, too, but not so much careers. Maybe someday when I'm more grounded in myself apart from standardised education systems - when further education would just be an extra-curricular for my life, I'll look into a PhD. For now I can't."

Thankfully he understood that and saw that it was what I needed. A lot of people go a bit mad in academic settings, but I go crazy - in a bad way - and it's because my identity is too invested; I need to take a step back. When I can trust my sense of self is more inherent and comprehensive, I can journey back. His one statement on that was, "don't wait too long, or you'll start getting old..." with a chuckle. We spoke about being the sort of people who need a university in the area. He hoped having a first class honours degree would be something I wouldn't be able to doubt; he clearly hasn't taken note of my ability to doubt myself. *Shakes head and laughs.* I'm trying, really I am! I'm trying not to feel like a little bumpkin girl who made it through this by luck of faerie dust and unicorn laughter. Meeting with Nick for a last time was nice, anyway.

Sat in Palmer G10 (one of the bigger lecture theatres on campus) for an hour and more despite it being dark (the stairs were lit). Listened to music and sang. Laughed to think that I had sat in the same seat at 18, in my first week of lectures as a first year. Bought a bagel from the Bagel Man (he's a celebrity on campus and incredibly well-loved) since the bagel of the day was the Boston bagel and I thought that was just right. Sat under my exam tree to eat and say goodbye to campus.

Library now. There were free children's books, so I nabbed four (no I can't help it!)...I'll try to read those before I leave my Teaside home. I've been through all my old uni emails and forwarded them go my Gmail. It was so strange to go through emails as far back as first year, first term. Copied the few things I had on my account to my mem stick. Getting ready to head back home now, after having said goodbye to campus and cleared out the accounts that will close.

I also have a picture of who I want to be when I grow up:

Laugh lines are delicious.

Off and away with me now!


Kiwi
 
 
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minervas_eule: Judiminervas_eule on July 1st, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
I think my youngest feels a lot like you at the moment about the academical career question. I always cringe when somebody asks her what she intends to do now.... I know she hates the question and is sure everybody, including her parents, is so disappointed about her lack of ambition. I hope she will see that I feel she may take her time...
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on September 5th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
It has now been more than a month, and unfortunately my feeling that I am disappointing others is only growing. Now that I'm Stateside and people are remembering that I've just graduated, the "so what do you plan to do now--Masters, PhD?" question is the most common I come across. Sometimes I wish people would start with, "Are you happy?" or something like that--a question that encourages in-the-momentness. It seems as though everyone I come across is constantly concerned with the future: what to be done this year, and the year after, and within five years, and within ten years, and my whole career track... I certainly don't know! At least it serves as a not-so-gentle reminder for me to keep my questioning more in-the-moment; I think most of the teens I come across--and possibly adults too--tend to appreciate it. I somehow think if people were a bit more focused on the Now (This moment, whatever it is) and perhaps a few before/after it, we'd be a lot happier.

Then, "What will you be doing?" is one of those small talk questions, really. And I think my bigger problem is with small talk! (It has its place, of course, but most of the time I would prefer talk that is taller than I am.)
?elsceetaria on July 2nd, 2011 05:29 pm (UTC)
As somebody who also tend to go quite crazy with classes and school and junk, I understand completely. I had plans to do AmeriCorps post Tech, but I don't feel like my year and a half of down time is the world's worst thing. My living situation has been suboptimal, but I have had the time to figure out who I am, what is important to me, and where I really want to go. The fact that this includes a MA program that I hadn't even heard of when I was in school probably shows that I at least made a partially correct decision.

Free books are never a bad idea. :)