So I was driving to campus this morning, like I do every day, and I saw a girl loading her stuff into her car, apparently moving out of her apartment, and it looked like her mom was there helping her, and I thought, "Oh yeah! It's graduation day!" And my life isn't any different today than any other day.
Last night I went out to dinner with some friends, and one of them had just finished all her schoolwork and is graduating today, and a couple of others were done with finals and so were much more relaxed than they have been of late ;) and were reacting to the feeling of being "done." And my life wasn't any different than any other day.
Spring term starts on Monday, and there will be TONS fewer people on campus, in the cafeteria, in the parking lots. People will be playing in the parks, and getting off work earlier, and having scads of free time, like they only dreamed about during the semester. And my life...
You get the idea.
It's time for a change, people. It's time for my life to change, based on the season. For the past five years I have been working on campus, and since I don't go home for summers, nothing changes for me when it hits summer time, except that I want to spend more time outside. I, uh, work. Every day. The same amount of time each week, all year round. And I take a class or I don't take a class, and I, of course, work on my thesis. :P
Well, I'm done with all that. I'm done with the thesis hanging over my head. I'm done with not having real "breaks" from school over the summer because I was only taking one class during the semester anyway. I'm done with being mildly annoyed at the "seasonal" students and feeling "holier than" them because I am here all year round and how dare they leave all summer and then come back and clog up campus when it's fall again?!
Uh, you're not SUPPOSED to be at college all year round for year after year after year. College is supposed to be a seasonal thing. At church on Sunday a girl gave a talk in which she referenced a house in Phoenix that Frank Lloyd Wright built with this concept called "compress and release." The idea is that you come into an entryway, and it is a very small space, and so you aren't comfortable there, and you naturally move through it into a bigger, more open space. I can't remember exactly the point the girl was making on Sunday, but I do remember what I thought. I thought, "That's my thesis!" This whole thesis-writing thing is the "compress" - and it is supposed to feel uncomfortable so that I will move on and out of this stage onto the next thing.
And, boy, am I ready for that! But that does mean that I need to "compress" a little more. I need to do the "final lap" or the "home stretch" or whatever you want to call it, but I really need to buckle down and GET THIS THING DONE.
I was talking to a friend last night about a big decision that another friend is trying to make, and again, a connection between this other decision and my thesis (what's this about "everything reminds you of something in your discipline"? how about "everything reminds you of your thesis"?!) came to mind, and it was this: It's not going to get done until I do it. I know - DUH! But really! When it comes to things like finals week, there is this big glaring deadline, and you can feel like, "for better or for worse, by next Wednesday at 6 I'll be DONE." And then you take whatever grade you get and move on with life. Well, it's a little different with a thesis. If it's not good enough, I can't just take the grade and move on - I have to revise. And revise. And revise. Just ask Jeremy. So it's a little different.
And it hit me last week that I can make schedule after schedule, and get pep talk after pep talk from my great dad and my great boss / chair and my great friends, and they can tell me that I CAN do it and that it WILL be good and that I AM the most brilliant person they've ever met (and then I can tell them that they ARE delusional ;) ), but when it comes down to it, with myself and this other friend - the thesis / the big decision, it won't write / make itself. If I don't put the effort in, on a regular basis for a good long time, then I will continue to envy those who DO get to move on with life while I spend yet another year cursing the those "seasonal" college students who clog campus.
No thank you!