I honestly have yet to be impressed by life beyond school.
Yes, yes, I know what you’re probably thinking. Doesn’t that sound crazy? Sure. Is that normal? Probably not. Is it sadly true? Absolutely. I mean, life without classes and homework and overpriced textbooks was fun…for about two weeks. Now I’m tip-toeing beyond the one month mark and realizing more and more how much I’m going to miss the university setting. It doesn’t help that I tragically have to drive right past my campus in order to visit my nearest Starbucks, which is nearly a daily occurrence.
For six years, I suffered at the hand of school-induced anxiety as I navigated through college and graduate school. I thought I couldn’t wait to be finished. In fact, I neared having a total breakdown at times and sincerely thought I needed a year off (a mental health year, so to speak) before going into a PhD program. I never would’ve guessed I would be yearning for more coursework a mere month out from graduation. Hell, I’m at the point now where I’m getting school-induced anxiety from a pure LACK of school-induced anxiety.
Needless to say, I’ve been holding onto what little bits of grad school life that I can. I’ve gone to campus to “clean out” my TA office three times, and I’m still not finished. I’ve refused to turn my office key in until I absolutely have to in July. I waited until the absolute last day (today) to turn in my outstanding library books, even though the class I used the books for ended weeks ago. But, despite my inability/unwillingness to let go of my grad school experience, I did realize today that being a graduate of the program does have its perks. Or at least one perk…the alumni library card.
Yes, folks, you read that correctly. The campus library gives out goddamn alumni cards. Good for twenty items at a time at our library AND five items at a time through OhioLINK, Ohio’s interlibrary loan system. As I watched the library staff set up my new alumni account and prepare my brand spankin’ new library card (which doesn’t even have an embarrassing photograph of my face on it), I couldn’t help but to feel a surge of pride. I EARNED this alumni library card, dammit. And I’m going to use it, dammit.
So, in conclusion, post-grad life pretty much sucks so far, but alumni perks at the campus library sure don’t. (And I’ve never felt nerdier.)