How do you know when you are really ready to graduate from the academic world? I know people who absolutely love the security of being in school, and I know others who were ready to ‘escape’ before they had even begun. For me, it has been a love-hate relationship. I was always good at academics, but never really loved it, and I was always aware of the value of good education.
Now that I am winding up to leave academia and enter the world where you don’t get a 10% discount on everything with your student card, I am becoming aware of the things that I have taken for granted in school.
1) An amazing library and free access to online resources through the library network.
2) The team of people working towards your own success, from administrators to professors to janitors.
3) A daily schedule already laid out in advance.
4) Government money.
Academia is wonderful, but sometimes I think we appreciate it for the wrong reasons. Maybe the people who never want to leave have simply not used their time in academia to prepare themselves for their lives after academia – and, after all, it is the students’ responsibility to do so. Our task as a student is not to come to rely on the support systems laid out for us at school – it is to do exactly the opposite. Indeed, I feel that I am ready to leave McGill in many ways. I am ready for new opinions, to use the tools I have been given so generously by my teachers to evaluate these new opinions, and, especially, to form opinions of my own.
One thought on “Leaving school”
I like this post, but I’m not sure most grad students have a schedule laid out in advance on a daily basis. Is this your personal approach, or do the grad students you know operate in this way? Just curious. I was also very structured on a daily basis.