November hit and the countdown to the end of the semester seemed to commence simultaneously for all of the grad students. This was accompanied with mostly excitement and a little stress mixed in. For those of us graduating in May, the conversation is starting to turn toward the ever-looming job hunt. Within the month of November, we have applied for Spring graduation, enrolled in our courses for the last semester, and have started fielding questions from family members about what’s next. My first thought: yikes. There has always been a good amount of stuff to juggle as a student in this program but now it feels like everything is ramping up when it should (theoretically) be slowing down. More and more, I am finding myself continuously balancing the here and now, plans for two months from now, and daunting questions about what life looks like six months from now.
Six months– In a little less than six months, my cohort will graduate with our master’s degrees and be tossed into the professional world. With the deadline of graduation approaching, I am inclined to begin voraciously applying for jobs– even if it feels too early to do so. Part of this urge comes from the exciting nature of some of the opportunities available now. The other part comes from the concern that no jobs will be available in six months.
Two months– Classes will be starting up for my final semester at Columbia. Luckily, I only have two on-campus classes remaining in the Spring, which leaves a good amount of time to work and look for post-grad employment. All that said, I’m trying to not get too far ahead of myself. A few classmates and I are devising plans on the best methods for balancing what little school work is left with the hunt for jobs in our respective fields.
Right now– I’m actively working to stay present in each moment amidst the swirling questions about next steps. A few friends reminded me that we only have six short months until we will no longer see each other every day, learn from one another, and provide support for each other through all of the ups and downs. We have done this incredibly well over the last year and a half. I’m realizing how tough the transition out of this program may be. With that in mind, I am committing myself to appreciating the large and small moments as they come, planning for the future but not stressing for what hasn’t arrived.
Welcome to the brain of a grad student about to graduate! The Grad School Hokey Pokey, with one foot in and one foot out, is the dance of choice over the next six months. Here we go!
Until next time,