An open letter to graduate school

3 Nov

Dear Graduate School,

Wow, how the time flies! There are eighteen work days left in my semester (minus ASHA, Thanksgiving break, and weekends) and then it’ll be time for our short course on professional issues and externships!

Externships! Remember when that seemed so far away? Externships used to be just a sparkle in my supervisors’ eyes. I was just a wee baby child. Externships! No concern of mine! Now here we are, looking externships right in the face. Staring contest with externships – GO.

Where did you go, grad school? What happened to you? Just yesterday I was moving into my apartment, now I’m packing to move out!

Sometimes you’re the bane of my existence. But, you have your loveable, endearing moments. Like staying in the tech center until the middle of the night and jogging around the clinic as a group to stay awake. Or studying the cranial nerves in a bar. Or hearing my professor say the word “boobs.”

With only eighteen days left, I’ve still got a lot to do and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. My hair is falling out. I don’t sleep much. I can’t remember the last legitimate meal I ate – with a meat, a veggie, and a carb. My apartment is being taken over by these freaky, tan grasshoppers. They look like aliens. I don’t know where they’re coming from. I did my laundry last week and it is still in the hamper – I’ve just been digging clean, wrinkled clothes out every morning.

Grad school – I feel like a hobo.

But a lot of what causes me stress, I bring upon myself, and that isn’t your fault graduate school. Don’t blame yourself.

Part of becoming a professional is learning to take responsibility for your education, your networking, your practice. Graduate school, you are my one last hoorah! at getting involved and making SLP a priority. So yes, when someone asks me to organize something – I do it. And when someone asks me to join something – I join it. When there are conferences – I go. When a topic needs presenting – I’ll present it. I want people to know I’m trustworthy, responsible, and hard working. So yes, I’ll do it.

Graduate school, you don’t MAKE me do that stuff. I could just do the graduate school status quo (which is STILL a lot of work!). I could just do my classwork, my clinic work, my research, my regular work, and then I’d go home. But as a professional, that isn’t realistic. I want, and NEED, to go above and beyond. It’s a thing with me. I’m going to have to go above and beyond for my clients and my career – so why not start now?

I know I blame you graduate school. You, are my scape goat. When I forget to do something, I say with knowing eyes, “Graaaad school” and people nod their heads sympathetically. When I am cranky, or tired, I say, “Oh grad school, why do you curse me so?” When I accidentally take a nap at 2 PM on a Wednesday, I say “Grad school you are bringing me down!”

But really grad school, you’re the least of my troubles. You’ve taught me.Ā  You’ve tested me. You’ve introduced me to new people and new ideas. You’ve been pretty solid grad school.

Thanks,

Sam

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5 Responses to “An open letter to graduate school”

  1. rebecca lee November 4, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    wow, im still an undergrad, i cant even fathom the amount of work you guys do when it feels like i have so much to do myself! got any tips?!

    • weathersby November 4, 2011 at 8:22 am #

      Stay organized! šŸ™‚ I keep forgetting to pack my planner when I leave the house in the morning and it is making me insane.

  2. anon November 4, 2011 at 1:11 am #

    i like this post!! šŸ™‚

    • weathersby November 4, 2011 at 8:23 am #

      Thanks! šŸ™‚

  3. eward511 November 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    This is perfect. I love it when you refer to abstract inaminate things as people. Two thumbs up, Ladyfriend. And if I had one, there would be a third.

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