For the last 20 years of my life I have been a student.
And now I am not.
And it is weird.
This little guy down below changed everything.
(and no I have absolutely no idea why they mailed us a second miniature copy of our diplomas, but I do fully plan on caring him with me and whipping him out at cocktail parties just to show people how well educated and awesome I am. This is probably necessary as I have a tendency to bring up things like the Kardashians, the next transformers movie and why Disneyland is the best in casual conversation, most likely creating a number of those skeptic of my academic knowledge.)
Wait what was I talking about...oh right....things they are a changing.
For 20 years I have been told almost every single day when to wake up and where to go.
Because I had a specific purpose.
My main job was to go to school and soak up as much knowledge as possible while following the mostly simple rules set before me.
Which being that natural rule follower that I am, this was easy.
I am an excellent student.
I was told what to learn and what to read.
Why it was important for me to calculate the angle of a triangle and have read Shakespeare.
As I grew older there was some more flexibly in this, the good old suggested reading lists that never got touched because the required reading was plenty, thank you very much.
In college I could choose not to go to class (although I rarely chose not to), I could pick which classes I want to take. But there was still some sort of overarching academic body guiding me.
When I returned from a trip abroad and was asked by the customs form what my occupation was,
well that was easy.
I was a student.
I had always been a student.
But all of that changed two months ago when I graduated from grad school.
And while I recognize that at this point in my life to be or not to be a student is entirely in my control.
I could always go and get a PhD.
A suggestion to which I say, no thank you!
But after 20 years of living within a very structured system designed by people who I always assumed were older and wiser and eventually would tell me the secret to growing up, life seems quite dull and strange.
In fact it seems somewhat empty.
Now part of this is do to the fact that I have yet to find a job which means
I have large quantities of unstructured time.
Something that I have never been good with.
What I guess I am trying to say is life is weird.
For almost my entire life I have been one thing a student...
and now I am not.
That era is more or less over.
And while yes I can be a lifelong learner (which I full intend on).
My "occupation" status of student, as the French would say it, c'est fin.
So here is to the next era.
I have absolutely no idea what it will bring.
But I welcome it eagerly.
Being a student has brought me great adventure and joy.
And I hope what follows next does the same (minus the all night paper writing sessions).