Suck it, grad school

It’s officially over. I finished graduate school and crossed that stage!

I’m much more psyched about it now than in the moment. To be honest, I was bitter as hell. I came here to get my PhD and if I had stuck it out for a little longer and scrounged up some extra motivation, I would be on the right side of the stadium in $500 velvet robes being escorted by my advisor like the special butterfly that I am.

In the last 3.5 years, I’ve been socialized a certain way. At my new job, the office culture is very different from the quiet, frigid environment where things go unspoken. It’s crowded, high energy, and noisy – and it makes me aware of how academia put a stick up my ass. I was also conditioned to believe it was PhD or bust.

So, this masters degree? It feels like a consolation prize. When you enter a PhD program and quit, it’s called “mastering out”. When someone heard I was leaving, they said “Guess she couldn’t hack it”. When word got around, I fell off the radar in the department. Some people literally ignored me.

You can see how I feel bittersweet. It’s sweet to finally be done with grad school. It’s bitter because it feels like I lost. I wonder…

Did I quit because I wasn’t smart enough? Am I not strong enough?

I quit because my trajectory no longer felt good. I was unmotivated. Hopeless, actually.

It’s ok to find what is for me. Imma say this a lot

I was watching doctoral students walk past me and thinking of a future that no longer belongs to me. It sucked… not because I want to be on that path… because it makes me confront uncertainty. As a PhD student, I had an idea of the next 5, 10 years.

Now, it’s dark. I see nothing. Or rather, I see a so many possible futures that it’s all a blur.

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