Well, we all know how that movie ends.
I was talking to my friend earlier this week about how I wanted my final semester in graduate school to resemble a romantic comedy. I want someone to fast forward through these next few months like a movie montage (background music: “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall or maybe “Girl on the Verge” by Sarah Hudson) that ends with me putting on a suit and hailing a taxi to my thesis defense. Unfortunately, there is no fast forwarding through this. I have to actually code and travel to interviews and write and do all of the work in real time. Which pretty much sucks.
On the positive side, I do have sassy/witty best friends who provide lots of encouragement (except they are Jewish, not black and/or gay), and I think I will get my happy ending– a PhD and a job. A worthwhile compromise.
Anyway, when I look at how I should be spending my time, blogging is pretty low on the agenda. I can’t respond to the emails I get, I barely go out and do anything interesting anymore, and I am 95% confident (hahaha) that blogging won’t jive with my grown-up job. So I’m going to go ahead and call this my final post.
Here is what I learned after n years of grad school (where n –> infinity):
1. You need not live in a hovel. Buy some real furniture and put some nails in the wall. It will make you feel better.
2. If you hate your roommate, move out. You probably shouldn’t live alone (it is pretty cost-prohibitive in a city like Boston), but you don’t have to live with an asshole who has heart to heart conversations outside your bedroom door at 4 in the morning with some guy who broke up with her 6 years ago.
Notes I wish I wrote to my old roommate
3. When you move, hire movers. Chances are, you don’t have that much stuff, so it shouldn’t cost too much. It will be worth it and your friends will thank you. Use a coupon or something.
4. Couponing works. Because I wasn’t teaching or doing paid research assistant work, I made like a pitiful amount of money last year. Way under $30K. But I also went to a few weddings, bought people nice presents, paid for a car that is not falling apart, had a personal trainer, and even went to Paris. I don’t worry about my checking account balance (too much). People will make fun of you for being obsessed with sales, but take solace in the fact that you have savings whereas they are eating ramen.
This is me, give or take a few gold coins
5. Get a hobby. It will distract you from work and give you something besides work to talk about in social situations. Speaking of social situations…
6. Make some friends, but not too many. I know this sounds depressing, but leaving work at 6pm every day because you have plans is distracting. Some of you will disagree with me, which is fine. In my mind, graduate school isn’t a 9 to 5 job and at some point you will need to buckle down. You’re going to have a lot of late nights, but it is temporary.
7. Keep a snuggie in your cubicle. They turn down the heat in the office at night and on weekends. Also, I just really like snuggies. And if someone got me a Forever Lazy for my birthday tomorrow, I wouldn’t complain…
8. Learn how to do stuff for yourself. Get some tools and stop calling your parents to do everything for you. That’s annoying.
9. For the love of God, do not wear sweatpants. The only excuse for wearing sweats is if you are sick or going to the gym. In either case, they shouldn’t be worn to the classroom or office. If you dress business casual or nicer every day, people will think you have your shit together even when you don’t. It’s the “razzle-dazzle” effect and it works wonders.
A Walk On The Charles by Adam O'Day
10. Explore your city. Make some friends who aren’t in grad school. Venture into new neighborhoods. Blogging about Boston made me view the city differently, and I’m glad for it. I’ve had lots of fun interacting with other bloggers and having new adventures. I do not yet know where I will be after May, but I will miss Boston immensely, thunder-snow and all. This city has a lot to offer, and I would have missed out on a lot if I refused to leave Harvard Square.
And that’s all I have to say. This blog has been very fun and very rewarding. Thanks for visiting, so long, and farewell!
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