This is the message I got in the e-lectronic mail a couple of days ago. It let me know that after a second bachelor's degree, two years of course work, tutoring, teaching writing, and about eight solid months of cobbling together a bunch of thesis-related nonsense, I'm finally ... ten pounds heavier. Wait! No. I'm finally a master. Which sounds oh so douchey. Here I am, another over-educated, underpaid liberal arts professional. Just one more obnoxious person to tell people that they are using the word "literally" incorrectly. You're welcome, world!
Now that I've finished a bit of graduate school, I feel like I can offer insight to those of you who might still be considering it, even after reading post after complain-y post about how totally sucky it can be. It's gonna be a list because, as it turns out, Gretta Baby totes hates writing.
- The more you learn, the more you realize you know nothing. Your brain is teensy, and really, it can only hold so much. So if you go to grad school and find you have to scrunch names and dates and theories in your cabeza, be prepared to forget other important things like your parent's first names or whether or not you put on deodorant this morning.
- You won't have time to exercise or go to the dentist, but you will totally make room in your schedule for quality Internet and bad TV. It's called procrastinating and it is the best.
- Graduate school has a povertizing effect. That's why even though you don't have enough time to floss your teeth, you could find yourself taking on one to two extra jobs to fund your Kindle habit.
- The definition of fun changes. You think you like movies now, or maybe the beach. After graduate school, you think "fun" means a super-specialized conference, or maybe just a nap on the crumb-encrusted TA office couch.
- You can do it without alcohol, but you can NOT do it without caffeine. You just can't.
- Everyone else thinks they're stupid, too.
And that's it. That's literally every single thing I learned in graduate school (so far...there is talk in the Whalen house of some self-loathing someone pursuing a PhD). That and some silly, made up literary theory and stuff. But most importantly, I learned that the best way to get through hard things is to do it with a group of people you're in love with. What I'm saying is, the best way to get through grad school is to build a family of friends. If grad school were a MasterCard commercial, it would go something like this:
Books: $Something inconceivable
A group of like-minded nerds that you'll love for the rest of your life: Priceless