Not to brag, or anything, but I have a job. In this day and age—and especially for my current situation—this makes me pretty lucky. I just graduated from college, I’m in grad school, and I have little to no “real” experience. This makes me an under qualified professional with little time—yet I sit in front of a computer screen 3 days a week for 8 hours a day. Doin’ stuff that makes me money.
It’s weird to think that having a college degree doesn’t really put you ahead in the job race anymore. To be honest, that’s kind of why I’m getting my MLS. I’ve wanted to be a librarian for a long time, but I also knew that I needed an MLS to even qualify for the position. Not to say I don’t appreciate school (like anyone else, I have problems with my program and the classes it offers—but I really love what I’m learning), but I am extremely frustrated with it. I’ve been in school for the past 16 years of my life. Do I really need a further 2 years to get out of this system? Just to enter into a professional job?
I know I could have take time off after I graduated. I could have worked and saved up money and taken a break from the rigors of academic life. But why waste time when I know exactly what I want to do? That’s why I went straight into graduate school. But my frustration with waiting to begin my adult life is what’s driving my ambition to finish grad school as fast as I can.
In undergrad, I took 16 credits a semester (which worked out to be 4 classes). I’m currently taking 12 graduate level classes—which is also 4 classes. I’ve learned that 9 credits (or 3 classes) is both considered a full-time schedule and also the norm for most students in my program. When I tell people I’m taking 4 classes and intend on continuing that load throughout the rest of my stay at this program, they ask me if I’m working. When I say answer in the affirmative, they give me that “You are a crazy woman” look.
It’s hard. I don’t have a lot of free time, and usually I don’t have a lot of time that is specifically for me. But my schedule is not impossible. I guess the fact that my job is supportive and understanding of my school situation really helps. It also helps that while I’m full-time in school, I am not full-time at work.
I’ve found that the most beneficial thing I’ve done is make a set schedule which I try very hard to stick to. Monday and Thursday is all day class. And unless I have a lot on my plate—it is only for class. No homework, no work—just class and me. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday are for work and then whatever I choose. Sometimes that means grabbing dinner and drinks with a friend, going to a concert, or buckling down and doing homework. Sometimes it even means curling up under a blanket with the TV on and knitting—just taking sometime to be by myself. Saturdays are usually spent going on adventures with my special man-friend and Sunday’s are reserved specifically for homework.
Lately, my free evenings have been relegated to homework. But that hasn’t been a problem yet. I’m not going crazy and I’m not (entirely) burned out yet. I do miss seeing my friends as often as I used to. But I think they understand and I know they’ll be around when I have more time and less on my plate.
And, duh I wish I had more time to do things. Seeing people and being social would be nice, yeah. But I also want to check out volunteer opportunities at my local library. I want to contact my old high school and see what kind of programs I could get involved in to start working on that whole “I want to advocate for youth” goal I have. I’m afraid that I’ll have to quit the job I have now in order to build my resume. It’ll be hard to do that. I love this job—and I also love the stability and safety net the income gives me. But will this job be worth it in regards to my professional future? I’m not sure.
And, of course, all of this will change in 3 months when the new semester begins and my schedule changes. Until then, I’m doing what I can to get through this semester. Luckily, it hasn’t been too hard yet. I’m starting to get tired, but I’m doing well in my classes so far and I even finished a pair of mittens!