The Journey Ends so It May Begin
Do you remember how, throughout your entire education people have always said, “You have to learn this so you’re ready for Middle School. If you don’t understand so and so or you won’t survive in High School. If you can’t read this many pages and write this many words, college isn’t for you.” And every time you made it up one tier up, you were always like, “Man, this isn’t so bad.” Take all those times people were trying to prepare you for something and bring them together. Graduate school is what they were trying to preparing you for. You have finally made it.
This Isn’t so Bad
Okay, hopefully that freaked you out a little bit, but not too much. Graduate school is what you have been preparing for your entire academic life, but you are prepared for it. It’s amazing, preparing all that time has actually made you prepared? How strange.
That’s not to say it won’t be tough. It will be. Graduate school is demanding, but it’s also fun—if you’re here for the right reasons.
Graduate school is not a place to come and hide. It’s not a place to run away from the economy. It is a place to come to truly learn about yourself. If you haven’t ever taken time off, away from school, then it is the time you will become an adult. You are building your career in these walls. You are pursuing something that may encapsulate you for the rest of your life, and you are in one of the best places in the world to do it. High school was not the best years of your life, this might actually be.
The Ritchea Experience
That last comment had a lot of weight to it so maybe I should explain myself. I am a pluralist who believes that vocation, or our calling in life, is the summation of all of our experiences and is the story of our lives rather than the plot (syuzhet over fabula). What I mean when I say that graduate school may be the best years of your life, is that graduate school can help you define your vocation. It can help you down the road that will accumulate into your journey.
I’m currently on my second year, and if I told you everything that I have done in just one year it would come off as bragging so, suffice it to say, I will simple state that I backpacked Europe; something I would have never done without graduate school.
Now that I’m back, I’m on fire. I feel alive and ambitious. I feel like I could tackle anything that comes. Again, bragging, but I’m trying to get you jazzed. See, graduate school is a fellowship of like-minded people who have put education over money. These are intelligent human beings who are always asking questions, questions that can get frustrating at times, but questions nonetheless.
Currently, I am working with a group of twelve graduate students and some forty undergrads on a transmedia, mutli-collaborative, meta-narrative, installation project in the school of Media (Telecommunications for the time being). In this class I am leading discussion groups and writing teams to develop a massive narrative for a at least five other production groups. I’m getting hands on experience, professional know-withal/how-to, and stress—lots and lots of stress. But it’s good stress. I go home feeling refreshed rather than defeated, and I owe it all to graduate school.
The other class I am currently enrolled in is transmedia novels—I’m actually writing a novel for a class. It is insanely difficult but one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
Graduate school offers you many doors. You can party, you can work, you can play, you can socialize, you can network, and you can learn. The sky truly is the limit. I’m trying to get to space–metaphorically. I hope you will too.