So you’ve been accepted in your dream grad school. You are elated. This is the beginning of the rest of your life.
The beginning. When you get that letter you are beyond excited. In my case I always knew I wanted to go to grad school even before I was done with undergrad. Only it didn’t happen as soon as I had hoped. So of course I hit the road looking for work; I worked as a data clerk, taught teenage girls in Ol’ Dexter High, did freelance research and finally worked as an editor at a publishing firm I loathed. In that last year the promise of going away to school kept me sane, but boy was I a complaining nut! Then the letter came.
At first you are so excited. I remember going home from another bland day at work to that email and crying and crying and crying. Then I started recording my thoughts on my journal Asmarah like mad. I can still see the teary words of gratitude on pages upon pages. Finally!
First forward to when you actually start grad school. First day in class you join other eager souls all of you brought together by different reasons. You can almost touch the energy in that room as you introduce yourselves. You are now, officially, scholars. You are here to learn and shine bright. After that first week of introductions, it is madness- this is a story for another day btw. From Foucault to Urry, to statistics to academic writing seminars! You are now running on 3 hours of sleep and coffee. You are a zombie mostly! Then just before you start questioning grad school, your course work year is over and you have passed with As. You look at your course mates and smile. You made it.
As with any other aspect of life after that much pressure you are glad to be free again. You approach your research year a bit more relaxed. The self appointed deadlines simply slip by; some you meet some you don’t. You are not really worried, you have an year right?
Then one morning you wake up and realize damn! It is almost time. At this point your friends- hey 14th- are constantly asking you about the thesis. You learn to say it is getting there in various ways. If you could you would even say it in Japanese ahaha! But you are not your mother’s daughter for nothing so you work your ass off and soon – soon is relative here of course- you have a draft. YAS! The first draft! But before you get that wine you’ve been saving you get an email from the supervisors.
And so begins the edits. Jesus! If there is anything about grad school that can drive you absolutely nuts it is the edits and rewrites. At this point you are running on coffee, and wine, and texts from the few friends who still ask after your progress. What is going on in your mind through the edits is the need to get it over with. Yes, you just want to get it done with.
I could tell you what happens after this but man, I have a draft that I need to edit. How about we meet here after a couple of weeks and continue with this convo?