Excuse me, I’m getting up on my soapbox for a minute, because this is a mentality that pisses me the fuck off. There’s this idea—a disgusting and annoyingly persistent idea—that being in school means you’re immature, childish, and not actually working. On anything. That school is all fun and games.
Ahahahahahahaha OH GOD THE HILARITY. But seriously. Look at some of the tags this post has gotten. “adulthood is worse.” You mean, students aren’t adults?
Look, assholes. If someone has reached the age of majority, then he or she is a motherfucking adult, regardless of whether they’re in school or not. And life is stressful, regardless of whether or not they are in school or not.
But you wanna talk about stress? How about holding down three jobs while going to school full-time in a PhD program, and how about doing it as a single person? My days are fucking full, and I have no one to help me.Not a spouse, significant other, or even roommate. I do everything myself. There is never anyone else to help make dinner, or to even do the dishes so I can take a night off once a week. And that’s not getting into all the bills, which I also pay by myself. The bills that require the holding down of three jobs.
And no matter how sick I am, I have to drive myself to the doctor’s office, I have to take my dog out, I have to run all the errands and feed the animals and clean the apartment and everything else. I never get a real day off, because there is no one to help me.
My life is constant running. I run to work. I run home to take out the dog. I run to class. I run home to take the dog for a walk. I run to a different job. I run home to feed the dog and the cats. I run to the library to study for a few hours. I finally make it home to sleep for an average of four hours. Five if I’m lucky.
And this is a life I chose for myself, and I love it. I truly love it. And sometimes I fuck up, and sometimes I spend the weekend watching Netflix instead of spending my fifteen hours of freedom (because with three jobs, you don’t get much freedom) studying.
I’ve been out of school, and I’ve worked a job that was horribly stressful, with a hellish commute that took about two hours each way. I’ve spent my time with a seventy-hour plus work week, in a place where all of the office was a pit of hell. But believe me, school is far more stressful. At least when I was working, people considered my complaints and distress legitimate.
As a student, if I express my exhaustion, my pain, my fear, or my anxiety, I have people laugh, deny my experiences, and call me childish. Saying life after graduation is the “real world” is basically saying that academia is a fantasy, and that there aren’t “real” problems while living a student. And believe me, any student who has tried to get insurance and has failed, or who has just left work and still has hours of studying to do before going to bed, knows that there are very real problems to be faced as a student.
So in short: Fuck off, assholes. At least I’m doing something awesome with my life.*
(*This is really mean to say, especially since it makes the suggestion that other people aren’t doing awesome shit with their lives. But fuck it, I don’t care. I study dead languages, which is really fucking hard and really fucking awesome. I’m tired of being told that talking about what I do is “elitist” or “stuck-up” or “self-obsessed.”)