I’ve been doing some whining about grad school around here, but I haven’t talked much about the good stuff. Well, there is good stuff, and when I’m stressed and feeling insecure I keep reminding myself how lucky I am to be doing this, and tell myself to enjoy it while it lasts. Because really, it many ways it’s pretty sweet and I can see why people spend years getting a PhD they’re not sure what they want to do with (I am just a little tempted to do just that). But that’s another post. For now, here are a few of the things I’m liking:
A big portion of my “work” is to lounge around in my pyjamas in my comfy big blue chair, drinking coffee, reading books for hours at a time. Then I put on pants, and travel to the university where I sit in an uncomfortable chair, drinking coffee, chatting about books (or just nodding, cocking my head, squinting my eyes, and murmuring, “oh, that’s interesting” while other people talk about books).
I’ve finally found the graduate reading room at York. It’s pretty fucking sweet. It’s actually rather hidden and there’s a code on the door that changes each week, so it took me this long to find it and locate the code to access its riches. And riches they are! Windows!!! Sunlight!!! Clean, comfy chairs!!! Quiet!!! (grad students don’t chat on their phones in the library like undergrads). It’s too bad campus is so far away--the grad reading lounge could compete with my comfy blue chair.
I like the pub nights. I’m on the social committee, so my “job” is to make sure we have frequent social events (it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it). Seriously though, with a commuter campus like York, it is easy to feel isolated, and it’s so helpful to unwind with a few pints and compare notes with your peers. My self-confidence is always a little boosted after a pub. Once we’ve had a couple of drinks, we ‘fess up to feeling like impostors, and finding the workload hard. It’s actually very helpful.
Finally, I am loving feeling challenged. I think I’ve underestimated my ambition, and need to be challenged. It’s coming to the surface now—what I’ll do with it, I’ve yet to figure out. And I’m still not sure how Number Two fits in all of this. Stay tuned.