Three+ years ago I graduated with my MSc. For the past three years I’ve been slowly dying working in cubicles for various government agencies (yes, your tax dollars are paying my salary, bwah-ha- ha!). I’m getting the heck out of here. The plan right now is to get a PhD, followed by a glorious teaching and illustrious research career. I’ll be famous, rich, and happy. Or something. At least I won’t be working in a damn cubicle.
In all seriousness, though, I miss learning. I miss discovering things. I miss challenging discussions. I miss deadlines and labwork and fieldwork and reading and writing. I miss school. Good lordy, I’m a geek.
While I’d been sortofkindof thinking about this whole going back to school business for about a year, it was ironically my current job that helped me make the decision. Part of my work involves working with academics as part of a peer-review process for grants.
One evening, after a very long day of meetings and deliberations and report writing, I was enjoying a meal with three really cool food science researchers. I listened to their stories about their students, their schools, and could see the passion for their work absolutely oozing out of them.
Most unprofessionally, I found myself feeling overwhelmingly envious, to the point of tears. TEARS. Seriously. Right around that point, one of them turned to me and said, “You know, you really should think about going back to school”. Aaaak!!!
Keep in mind my current boss was also sitting at the table. I’m not 100% sure what I replied but I think I muttered something like “you guys are KILLING me here”. I chewed and stewed for weeks, then finally ‘fessed up to my wife what was bugging me.
She’s been very supportive about the idea, considering being married to a student is probably one of the most annoying things on the planet. Students keep weird hours, have to travel, usually have piles of papers and notes all over the place, talk about weird things like bioassays and aposematic colouration (well, I do) and don’t make much money. But I’ve agreed to a) let her buy the gaming computer of her dreams so I can have our new ‘puter for my work and; b) her immediate retirement as soon as I’m gainfully employed after I’m finished the degree, so she can pursue her hobbies and raise a pack of 12-ish or so dogs. I’m very happy with both arrangements.
So now I have to get my shit together, talk to potential supervisors (I think I’ve identified at least two), and get writing my entrance and grant applications. I’m procrastinating just a little bit because I’m terrified, but it’s a good kind of terrified.
Oh, and P.S. to my high school Biology teacher, who told me that science/biology was really not my forte and I really should consider another field of study:
Eat. My. Shorts.