It’s just ticked over 3 weeks since I handed in my Honours Thesis; the 16k epitome of my last 18 months.
It’s been a weird time, post-thesis. Studying has been such an intrinsic part of my life. A non-stop roller-coaster of deadlines and classes practically since reception until now. That’s 20.5 years of education. That’s basically my entire life.
So far it just feels like I’m on a end-of-year holiday (those became 3 months long once university started). But I’m constantly aware that it’s in fact August, and I don’t actually have a set date to return to study.
Well, aside from the PhD I keep telling myself I’ll study next year. And that’s definitely the plan. Sort of.
At the same time, I feel like it’s time I start my actual Career. With full-time work, maybe in an office. Having had a taste of magazine publishing with Empire Times, I’m desperate to return to that life, to having an office to travel to every day, to co-workers to chat with (although I might not find another team who so strongly shares my passions for feminism and Star Wars). I don’t WANT to spend every day at home doing “nothing”. But that’s why I’m not doing nothing.
I’ve managed to fill my plate with all the other things I was trying to do on the side, working on the committee for my choir (planning all the fun shit that’s not singing), and helping run Speakeasy, the creative readings club. I’m also set to volunteer at the Romance Writers of Australia conference, which promises to be an amazing experience and prime for career-starting networking (I’ve ordered some snazzy business cards for the occasion). And now we’re putting together an anthology, which means months of reading, editing, book production stuff, which is well and truly the most exciting opportunity I’ve ever had and could potentially open doors for me (as well as get my first print publication).
Plus, there’s my novel. The main one I’ve been trying to work on for the past 8 years. The one I haven’t worked on in months because of Thesis and uni and any number of excuses. As someone who loves deadlines and schedules, the beauty of being a writer is that you never not have homework.
So maybe I’m not staring into the void so much as skimming across it, fingers in my ears and belting out obnoxious show tunes. I have enough responsibilities, enough projects, enough job applications to write, to keep me busy until next year, when I’ll hopefully be nestled back in the safe bosom of academia, with a nice scholarship to keep me financially afloat, putting off the big scary “real world” for another 3.5 years.
Or maybe I’ll actually get one of the aspirational jobs I’m applying for. But am I ready for full time work? At 25, my parents certainly think I’m long-overdue. But that’s the problem with extending adolescence with 2 degrees and post-grad, while being lucky enough not to have to move out of home. The longer you put off that big leap into independence, the wider the distance between here and the cliff of success, the vast chasm of failure and homelessness ever-present should you not quite make it.
And I have another month before my thesis marks come out. Another month of terrified waiting, and praying (to whatever entity may exist) that it’ll all work out and I’ll get the marks I want. Because if I don’t, my whole back up plan is fucked.
I’m not sure this post is anything but a cathartic expression of my insecurities, but hey maybe someone can relate. At least we can be terrified together.
All that’s left is to distract myself with video games until it’s over.
In other news, Fallout New Vegas is amazing.