I’m dubbing this year “The Limbo Year”. The year in which I wait around for university offers and grades, not wanting to have too much hope, but also not wanting to despair too much either.
The year started so optimistically. I had submitted my thesis early and had skipped off for a holiday expecting to return to a multitude of tutor offers. But to my utter surprise, I only got one. A single offer out of several applications. Not wanting to feel disheartened and also wanting to tutor more than anything, I decided to take the job and just dedicate myself to my students and use the extra time to compile a PhD application – a part-time job in itself.
Because, if there’s anything your girl likes more than ice cream, it’s studying. Nerd life.
I was lucky because I was in a supportive situation that meant I didn’t have to find a full-time job straight away. It actually worked out great, because between being an architectural design tutor, a part-time retail assistant and a graduate school applicant, I was genuinely busy and challenged.
And then I bundled up my boss-as application and sent it away at the end of April, leaving me with very little to put my mind towards and very little to get excited about. The tedious waiting game began. 8-12 weeks of waiting to be approximate. On top of that, I’m still waiting on my grade for my thesis which I submitted over four months ago. I know.
When I had a lot to do I didn’t really think about my grade, and now I am freaking terrified and I think about it ALL THE TIME. My hourly thoughts are as follows:
Why is it taking so long? Have I failed and they are trying to figure out how to tell me? Are they going to change my degree from a professional one to a theoretical one? How will I get a job if they do that? Have they lost my thesis? Was it a really bad idea to finish early? Could they not find someone to mark my thesis because it was so weird? Why did I do such a weird thesis? Have I failed because I did such a weird thesis? Why am I so weird?
Yup. That’s what my brain sounds like.
It’s making me so anxious waiting for two results that could determine my future. My grade will either help or hinder future applications for jobs and further study. My application result will determine what I do for the next few years, or it will make the past few months feel like a complete waste of time. Because, to me, if I’m unsuccessful, I will feel like I should have just found a full time job, moved out of home and started a career. Instead, in my hyper critical reflections on my life this year, I would say I’ve been straight chilling, making minimal money and barely saving for my future, all while living at home as a 24 year old who doesn’t know how to drive.
On the other hand, I know I would have regretted not tutoring. I know I would have regretted not handing in my thesis early. I know I would have regretted not applying for a PhD. So, I’m in this weird limbo, waiting to see if all this stress, anxiety, hard work and potentially bad decision making have been worth it.
I feel like anybody else would revel in a couple months of freedom. Not me. To work hard is to succeed, holidays are a nightmare.
So, I’m waiting. And hoping for the best. But not hoping too hard. I have this theory that if you want something with all your heart and you voice it, it won’t happen. Call me a pessimist, but this theory comes from years of harsh experience. So, on the inside I’m begging the universe for an amazing grade and a PhD position with full scholarship, but on the outside I’m telling people that, “yeah, I applied for a PhD but you know, if it doesn’t happen, which it probably won’t, that’s cool.”
But universe, you better give this to me. Ok?
I have been trying to stay occupied and not worry so much. I’ve been writing a little more on my blog and I’ve been learning some new digital software. I’ve been reading, socialising, knitting, and occasionally relaxing. There have been a few days spent watching TV all day, but they have been few and far between. Really, it’s OK, so why do I feel so anxious and down on myself?
I think because all of this is completely out of my control I guess I feel kind of helpless. So I’m doing everything I can to control my life in other areas to hold myself together. Life is like that sometimes, I just need to keep myself busy, better myself in other areas and hope for the best.
In the scheme of a life, 6 months is not very long to wait. And really, who knows what the next chapter will bring?