As a new faculty, I’m thankful for the countless opportunities I’ve been afforded since starting. I love traveling….for a while. The place: our nation’s capital.
As I got ready to travel, I realized one thing: I was no longer a graduate student. I know you’re probably thinking, ‘get it together’ but really. There has been little or no time to transition cognitively. Sure, I graduated and walked and was hooded and my family was there and PIC and a nice dinner…..BUT–I started this position before I even graduated. (did you like my giant run-on sentence?)
How did the shift happen? It started with some clothes. Before I bare my soul, I will also add that grad school helped me get fatter and I had some work to do. I have shed about 20 lbs. over the past few months and was needing some things that fit a bit more properly. You know the saying, “the clothes make the (wo)man.”
So, I took myself shopping and invested a few hundred dollars in some pants that fit (my undergrad friends would call this “diaper a**,”) a few new shirts, and a new blazer. Funny what dressing the part can do for our pride, make us stand a bit taller, and carry ourselves with a straighter back. The weight loss didn’t hurt my self esteem either.
Second step: the hair. Again–so vane….so superficial….I had donated my hair over the summer and had neglected a good haircut since then.
Third step: unpacking my office. I had started in December and on Feb. 1st there was still a mountain of boxes packed full of my books, pictures in storage, and general chaos.On several occasions, even my boss had said, “you ever going to move in?”
Fourth step (maybe should be #1): owning it. No more saying, “i’m a grad student, i’m not done yet, i just passed my prelims.” No one asks anymore and I don’t introduce myself as such. Owning it has helped me make the transition.
When was your cognitive shift? Did it happen with the piece of paper? I know I was ready to be done with grad school, but a bit fearful of what was next. There are days when I’d like tto go back to the less stressful world of grad school, but as I type in an airport, I can’t help but think that I’ve finally made the transition in my head. Now, if my student loans would pay themselves 🙂