I’ve always been a Negative Nancy. You give me a positive situation and I guarantee I can find something wrong with it. It’s not a personality trait I’m proud of by any means, and it is something I’ve had to consciously work on. However, I feel like grad school almost caters to this type of personality.
It’s like an unspoken rule that your time as a student is divided between taking study time to watch bad TV, actually studying, eating/sleeping/showering, and commiserating with peers about the workload/upcoming dissertation. It’s as if for every 1 hour of actual studying, there are 2 or 3 hours of complaining about how much there is to do.
And it’s not because we don’t like the topic; on the contrary I feel like I’m enjoying these classes more than any in my undergrad – with exception to math classes with Professor R because he was such a great teacher it was like he almost dared you to hate math. But you really have to love what you go to grad school for; people don’t just say that to weed others out.
My post-grad studies thus far have been challenging, and they push students. There are no textbooks, there are required readings for some classes while some are more relaxed about “required” vs. “suggested”. You are self-taught, and for someone like me, this idea of motivating myself would be torturous if I was studying anything other than what I am (doing). The lectures are there for structure and to enhance the reading not to fill in the blanks where the reading was lacking or where there were questions. I found this out fairly quickly by being told some variation of that point blankly.
The point of all this is that I’m happy.
Even if I complain about how much there is to do in such a small window of time.
I’m really really happy.
There is no ‘but’ from my inner Negative Nancy.