I went to the library the other night to look for a couple of books. Exciting right? But here is what I really want to share about. While I was browsing the non-fiction section for one of these books I came across study guides for the GRE (grad school entrance exam’s for those who are unfamiliar). It seems that where ever I go my future is staring me in the face. While that may be a fact of life, it is only recently that I’ve realized exactly how quick life moves.
See, I turned twenty just over four months ago, and while twenty is quite young in the grand scheme of things, I still had this moment of, “Holy shit. I’ve been alive for two decades” when my birthday came around.
Right now I’m currently worrying about student loans for my last year of undergraduate study. I’m also watching the registration dates for the revised GRE move closer and closer and I think about how in March I’m going to be registering for them. I’m starting my last year at UNH at the end of this coming summer. I’m applying to grad school this coming fall. This time next year I’ll be starting my last semester of college and waiting to hear back from those grad schools. Surely you get the point by now. What I wonder is, where did the time go?
In addition to all of the realizations about my upcoming future, the other thing I’m realizing is, is that in a year and a half I’ll be preparing to move out of the house I’ve lived in my entire life, the state I’ve always called home. My mom, dad, step-mom, baby brothers, and grandparents will all still be here, but I’ll be moving away. And that’s pretty crazy, if I may say so myself.
I’m going to be applying to graduate schools with a psych/law Ph.D. program. The only thing is that there are not many of them. The ones that are in place, well they are located in the most random places across the country. The closest I’ll be to home, and of course this all depends, is Philadelphia. It’s really not that bad, Philly is a little over 200 miles away from my hometown and I’ve been there. I happen to like Philadelphia.
The other places there are psych/law programs (that I’m planning on applying to) are:
Illinois: I really like Illinois when I drove through there recently and friends who have been there assure me that I would like Chicago (where the university is).
Nebraska: I’ve never been to Nebraska, and truthfully, Nebraska stumps me… Anyone been there? Know anything about it?
Alabama: While I’m a bit weary about spending six years in Alabama, I’ve been assured that it’s not that bad by a family friend. Alabama does get points though because I’ve got family in Mississippi and Georgia, so I’m just a few hours away from family I don’t get to see all too often. Oh, did you know that stars fell on Alabama? (Sorry I couldn’t help myself with that one.)
Wyoming: Does it get much more random than Wyoming? However, a good friend of mine used to live there. According to her I would actually like Wyoming. However, a quick search shows that there is not a single 7/11 in the state (where do I get my Slurpees?!) and the closest Barnes & Noble I found is an hour away from the university. Hopefully there’s a decent independent store closer than that if I end up there. And a source of Slurpees…
Texas: While we all love a good ‘everything’s bigger in Texas’ joke from time to time, that doesn’t mean I have to like the bigger temperatures in summer time.
Those are the places where I am likely to end up next year… I still think it’s crazy.
I keep reminding myself that grad school is something I am doing for me. I’m picking programs based on the best fit for myself for once (by best fit I mean academically, not location, obviously as I’m applying to schools in the south and I get cranky when the temperature is above 75). I’m not limiting myself so that I can be available to do stuff for other people all the time like I am now. My education is in my hands, it’s helping to better ready me for my future. That’s whats important. As long as I remember that, I’m good. Even if I still have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that my future, my life is coming at me far faster than I ever realized.
So, that’s whats been on my mind as of late. Have you noticed this speed of life thing?
I’ve been thinking about a PhD for a while now – though I’m not sure that I want to dedicate that much time to something. I do need a project though….. [muses]
PhD’s certainly take some time. I’ll probably take six years or so to complete mine, but I can’t really go into the field I want to without it…
What would you go for if you did it? Project? What kind of project? My curiosity is piqued.
I feel the need for something to occupy my time outside of work – in addition to my usual reading and stuff. I might go for a part-time Masters Degree in Politics. At least that seems the most likely option so far and would only require 2 years of my time/effort. It’s unlikely to be this year though. I’d really feel the need to do a lot of reading before I could even think about it!
The other alternative is to write a book I’ve been thinking about…… [muses]
“I feel the need for something to occupy my time outside of work – in addition to my usual reading and stuff.”
– I hear that. Sometimes you just need to do something different, change things up a bit. I’ll also wish you luck if you do decide to pursue a masters. (My question asking begins here, I’m always curious, so just give me a ‘none-ya’ if you don’t want to answer) Is politics a just for the hell of it degree or is it a field that you’re interested in pursuing, or are you already in the field and just want to further your education and build a bigger network?
As for the book, I say go for it! I’ll read it. =]
Politics is an interest of mine – not the day to day slime stuff but the philosophies behind it. I’m in the lucky position where I have the time and money to follow my interests so its possible that an MSc in Political Theory could be in my (near) future.
The book idea grew out of my research for my last dissertation which basically outlined the rise of a Nietzsche-style hero in response to the acceptence of a Godless Universe. After I got the result back I’ve been reading more books in that area and have found more stuff to back up the original idea I had so….. maybe there’s a book there?
It’ll be one or the other though. I really couldn’t do both – or at least not easily!
There really is so much to consider when it comes to politics, it’s too bad that so many who go into the field seem to overlook or completely forget the ideas behind and reasons that it’s important. Either that or those working in politics only want to further their own agenda. Or, at least this is what I’ve noticed. Anywho, I say go for your goals and interests!
Oh, and I agree that you are lucky. What I wouldn’t give to have the time and money to do a few of the things that I would like to. (Squashing my envy and moving on now, I promise!)
The book idea sounds really interesting! While my own knowledge is limited, there still seems to be quite a bit of room for you to play with the idea, and hey, what’s better than a little leg room when it comes to developing something such as a book. I’d say there is in fact a book there if you want one.
I totally bet you could do both! It might take time, and would definitely be lots of work, but in the end I’m sure it would all be worth it.
It’s taken me 15 years (or actually almost 23 all told) to get in this position so I think I deserve it. [grin] It is nice being able to do things I want though rather than things I have to!
There’s plenty of scope for a book. ‘Talking’ about it again might be the motivation I need to actually get off my ass and do something about it…. Maybe…… [grin]
Fifteen or twenty years – it’s still your payoff and you most certainly do deserve to enjoy it. After all it’s your own hard work that got you where you are. Honestly, I can only hope I find myself in the same position somewhere down the road. As of right now I pretty much live on the principle of delayed gratification.
As for motivation, only you can find the thing that will give you the push you need. The rest of us can only cheer you on (Go Cyberkitten!).