Monday, September 12, 2011

On summer

Is it September already? Welcome back to "real life", they tell me when they learn I'm in Grad School. After all, the beginning of September means the return to classes and homework, right? Then I mention that I'm a full-time, year-round student who has been working on research and writing papers all summer. Their response? Usually something along the lines of, "Oh."

For most grad students, the only difference between summer and the "school year" is that your supervisor likely isn't teaching and in fact, might be on vacation. Also, you probably aren't TAing, so you have more flexibility over your activities and whereabouts... as long as you get all your work done on time.

Understandably, the days all melt into one another, and the desire to take extended breaks on beautiful sunny days is often overwhelming. However, work is work and deadlines are deadlines, and at the end of the day/week/month/summer, it all has to get done.

I submitted my thesis proposal to my supervisor last week. THE big task on my summer to-do list will soon be crossed off, once I officially submit it to my soon-to-be-formed thesis proposal committee.

To me, this feels like the beginning of summer. I can finally move forward from all the drama, academic and otherwise, in my life and start fresh... More or less. Though my health issues aren't resolved yet, negative test results are a form of diagnosis, so we're getting closer. I'm feeling secure in my friendships and my connection with the Kingston community. And I really enjoyed my sports TV break, working the LPGA CN Canadian Women's Open in Montreal for CBC, despite the ridiculous weather.

I think I'm getting better at figuring myself out and what I want and need in life. This means I am finally allowing myself to put "me" first at times and do things for myself instead of letting people I like (or want to like me) walk all over me. (Granted, I never let them walk ALL over me, but I did give them much more leeway than they deserved.)

Life, my friends, is good. This is what growing up is all about. And this summer made me realize that you really do keep learning all life long, and you keep growing up, bit by bit, until your life comes to an end.

And now that summer has ended academically, it's time for me to catch up on all the little things you let slide while working away on projects or studying for exams. You know, the cleaning and sorting and cooking real food for dinner. Taking care of yourself and rewarding yourself for all your hard work by actually getting things done in other sectors of your life. This is what summer is all about.

My summer starts now.

No comments: