Monday, February 20, 2006

Waning ambitions

It is becoming more apparent that my zeal for graduate school is quickly fading. The part of my brain that enjoys the challenge and the subsequent stimulation is being way overrun by its suicidal other half who wishes to be destroyed by alcohol and multiple hours of appointment television. This education thing that I've gotten myself into is ruining my weekends beyond the typical sense.

I knew this was going to be even more difficult than my last degree but I thought I had some reasonable expectations. I fully understood that a good deal of my evenings and weekends were going to be spent burning through engineering pads and mechanical pencil refills. Not a problem. But what I forgot about was the way in which school cannot only consume a chunk your free time but also psychologically ruin the remainder of it. Friday nights are much less fun because I spend the night thinking "the longer I stay out, the harder it's gonna be to do my homework tomorrow." Saturdays are a show because instead of going to the Home Depot and Bed, Bath, & Beyond (if I have enough time), I'm packing off to the library to get some work done. Yet I'm not nearly as productive as I could be because I spend most of my time there dwelling on the fact that I should be elsewhere. As for Sundays, those are the worst of all. Just like when I was a kid Sunday is the day when you are acutely aware that the weekend is over, it's your last chance to finish whatever homework that needs to be done, and you know that you've got 5 days of work and school bullshit to look forward to...and then the cycle repeats itself.

On a road trip last fall a bunch of my buddies and I went up to Penn State to execute our Fantasy Football draft and party in a college town. At the end of the night after spending hours drinking in the bars, someone decides we should go over to the pizza slice joint where everyone gets their last-night fix. Of course the line is out the door and around the block full of kids in desperate drunken need of grease and cheese. At one point my roommate screams out "I already went to college! I don't need to wait in line for an hour for pizza anymore!" He then turned away and began stumbling down the street. That's how I am now beginning to feel. I've done this before. Twice. Do I really need to put myself through this again just to hang another piece of paper on my bedroom wall?

I've got 13 months left before I turn 30. As I fritter and waste the hours I keep returning to the advice that one F. Bueller gave me as a kid:
Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a
while, you could miss it.


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