At 330pm on Thursday, December 17, I emailed my final paper to the instructor for my grad class this semester. I felt that 50 pounds had been lifted off my shoulder. Grad school wasn't the worst idea/decision I made this year but it is definitely high on the list.
I could have used a drink that night after work but, having been knee deep in research regarding state funding of public universities, I realized I had 7 days left to get all my Christmas celebrating in. So Thursday night, I cleaned the house. My roommate and I had both been all over the place for about two weeks, so the place had been a little neglected. And I was having a guest over Friday night and thought it would be good hostessing to have the place at least LOOK clean. Friday at lunch I grabbed some wrapping paper and starter logs for my fireplace. (I ended up not needing the logs because, WEIRD, I had a GAS fireplace. Oops.) Thankfully, the man (did I mention I was having a dinner guest?!) did his thing and got the fireplace going without blowing us up. Phew.
Saturday I did some shopping, watched the KU men's basketball team win its 10th game of the year. I wasted time watching movies and re-watching the So You Think You Can Dance top 6 dances. Then I put pins in my hair, green shadow on my eyelids, gray pumps on my feet and went downtown to see a big band (18 pieces!) and drink rum and cokes (please, don't tell my dentist or periodontist!)
Today I actually worked out (for the first time since before thanksgiving), went to the grocery store and made ranchburgers.
Ohmygosh, I have free time and I'm actually getting stuff done?! And enjoying the weekend? This is what I miss out on when I'm worrying 95% of the time about grad school work.
So yeah, grad school. Officially un-enrolled. I withdrew. I'm a grad school drop out. I should still probably let the program director know, but details schmetails. I'm glad I tried it. I'm also glad that I recognize it's not something I can continue. I've had my fill of classroom learning. I want to get out there and do things. Not write 20-page papers about the crappy funding state universities receive.
So, now I appreciate my free time now. And my ability to seek opportunities outside of school. After this year, after what I've tried, where I failed, what I've gained, the people I've met... I'm sure both wonderful and important things will happen next year. And now, I'll have more time to savor it all.