I’ll warn you in advance that this post might seem a little bitter and borderline jealous, but I don’t mean it that way. I hope you’ll bear with me.
I made a lot of stupid decisions when I was just out of high school. I was a terrible student with not much motivation. I wasted a lot of years. True enough, I made up for those years when I went back to college and graduated with a 3.83 GPA, but by then, the die was cast. I was too old to stop working and be a “full-time” grad student. If I wanted a graduate degree, it would have to be done in addition to my job, not instead of it. I was okay with that. . .until now.
I want to be a part of the community of graduate students. I want to collaborate with them. I want to learn from them and I want to offer what knowledge and wisdom I can to them. I want to publish and present. I want to be involved in the ongoing academic conversation. But, I can’t be a part of that world. That world is reserved for students who either don’t work, or students who work only part-time and can be on campus learning and talking and writing for most of the hours of the day. Working grad students like me are left on the outside looking in. We are left to watch as younger graduate students who have (I’m sorry, but it’s true) not had to work as hard as working schlubs like me. It hurts.
I take responsibility for the decisions I made. I understand that it was those decisions that put me in the position I’m in now, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. I wish there were a place for me, but there is not. I will finish my degree in December and will still be on the outside looking in as other students–more “typical” students are given opportunities I will never be given. It hurts.
Yeah. . .it hurts.