Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Why don't I ever talk about all the pros of grad school!?!!

I feel like I complain a lot about the stress, work, and general difficulty of grad school. I'm sorry. In my defense though, I am finishing up my 4th year (8.5 years total of college coursework...but who is counting?!) and am a bit burnt out. As I was walking along the waterfront though today, I thought to myself "I never would be here if it wasn't for grad school!" and I really truly love Seattle. That got me thinking about all of the other things I have gained from this experience. It really is a wonderful thing and I feel so lucky to be able to go through the process, so I thought I would share what I love about grad school...

  • I moved out of the Midwest and into Seattle; a city that really fits me better. I love the atmosphere, the beauty of the pacific northwest, the people, the experiences that are literally everywhere just waiting to be found! I really love this city :)
  • I love intellectual discussion! And I don't mean talking about textbooks or theory, but having good intense discussions about topics that I am passionate about, with people who feel the same way.
  • Networking and finding my niche, plus people who are passionate about that area.
  • Being able to say, "well I'm a grad student" when people ask what I do. There is just something gratifying about that answer, particularly to judgemental people who formed immediate stereotypes about me when I was a server/bartender!
  • Therapy, I really love doing therapy!! (good thing, huh?)
  • Learning about the mind and emotions and human behavior. We are such an amazing species and it is so exciting to learn about all the capabilities that we have and the ways that suffering can be understood and alleviated.
  • The friends I have made, both in and out of school. Ive met some great people here in Seattle and I have a wonderful cohort at school Its great to be surrounded by compassionate, albeit stressed out, colleagues!
  • Learning to take the bus, I have actually became quite an expert on public transportation. That's quite an accomplishment considering I moved here having never used any form of public transportation and learned all by myself through good old "trial and error" (and there were some hilarious errors!!)
  • Rachel, who I obviously never would have met without moving here and being forced to work at the crappy Outback!
  • Hospice volunteering, its a great experience and a wonderful reminder of why I wanted to go into the field of helping people through their struggles.
  • I even think being pathetically poor is a good thing. Although I am definitely sick of it, I do think it is good to be poor for a while. It makes you appreciate things so much more (I wrote an entire ecstatic blog about finding a $5 bill!!!) Plus, its nice to do it with a bunch of friends who are poor at the same time, who else could I complain about the bitch Sallie Mae to?!
There are so many more wonderful things about this experience, but I just wanted to share a few. Its a reminder to myself that I really really love what I am doing. I'm going to love my career, but I also need to remember the joy in the journey of getting there.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I felt that I was also always complaining when I was in grad school. At the end, I had to remind myself that i CHOSE to do my grad program. And even though it was a ton of work, I learned so much and met so many great people.

Good for you for focusing on the positive!

Rachel said...

I am so glad you came to Seattle! We are lucky to have you and I'm so glad I met you! And hang in there because you are so close to the end and you give me a lot of inspiration!

Mel's Way or No Way said...

It sounds like you are where you're supposed to be-enough said. I agree, having to do all the work and struggle through the money issues definitely makes a person appreciate what they have acheived even more. Congrats to you!