New Year’s Resolutions? Call Me Scrooge.

January 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

So many people are making posts about New Year’s resolutions. Not I, said the pig! I won’t be. I haven’t for a few years now, just because they’re kind of useless. Does anyone really keep them? I think not. Mine would be the same as any other girl’s, anyway: lose weight, do yoga more often, try not to stress out so much, etc. Maybe be nicer to people I don’t like or just don’t know. But it never lasts past January, so why bother. I’ve got other things to think about anyway.

I got my final grades for my first semester of grad school: A, A-, A-. So my GPA is 3.8, which for grad school is pretty darn good. Especially when you consider how I still did everything the last minute, not unlike my entire educational experience up to this point. I can’t help it, I’m lazy! Anyway, it means that a PhD is most definitely a serious option in my near future. I’ll have to start applying to programs this time next year, so that only gives me a year to really beef up my application. I’ve got the grades, for now at least (although, if I’m honest with you, I can’t imagine having any professors more challenging and/or frustrating than I had this semester), so I just need to get in some extra-curriculars, languages, and maybe a better GRE score. I’m co-president of our student gallery starting in January, so that should help, although I feel like I have NO idea where to start because no one seems to want to sit down with me and tell me what the hell goes on in the running of this gallery. I’ll figure it out, but you know me, I want to do really well. I’ve also secured an internship (just waiting for the work schedule to be confirmed) at a local gallery here in DC, right down the street from Alec’s office. I’ll be working mostly on the administration/marketing/events end, I think. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve got zero gallery experience, so it should help balance out my resume a bit.

This summer I may be a busy bee. It all comes back to money, doesn’t it? I keep trying to run the numbers to see if somewhere along the line they’ll change, but they just don’t. I’m going to have to go back to full-time at work if I don’t get a living stipend from the one fellowship I’ve applied to or from school. Naturally, the one assistantship at school that I *really* wanted (and was listed as an alternate for this year) apparently isn’t being offered next year. lovely. Anyway, I’ve pretty much resolved myself to having to go back to full-time at work and part-time at school, which means 40 hours of the former and 2 classes per semester of the latter. If I take two courses this summer (and I need to take two language courses, at least one this summer), then I’ll still be able to graduate with my class. So, worst case scenario means that I’ll be working full-time, taking a language course, and taking two classes at GWU this summer. Then in the fall, I’ll be still working full-time, hopefully taking another language course (I need French and German for PhD), taking two courses at school, applying for PhD programs and paid post-grad internships, AND somewhere in there I’m supposed to do my qualifying paper for my degree and retake the GRE. again.

Do I sound stressed? Yeah, I sound stressed. Hence why I didn’t even attempt to make a New Year’s resolution I would have no chance of keeping. But working full-time would dramatically increase my fairly limited housing options in DC. The biggest, and perhaps least obvious, downside of going to part-time at school is that I’ll lose any fellowship I get from school. So I’ll be $50,000 in debt when I graduate. That’s a pretty fucking scary number. And that’s way more debt than I wanted to be in. But I don’t really have a choice do I? I couldn’t ask Alec to keep living with me, not after all this. And it would be bad for both of us emotionally, I think, even if it works out so well financially (because believe me, I would LOVE to stay in our current apartment). If I wanted to stay part-time at work and full-time at school, I would have to take out about $6,000+ in student loans to help pay rent and bills.  But if I got a good fellowship, then maybe financially it would be worth it. Anyway, it’s pretty complicated. I’ll be meeting with my new advisor in January to talk about deadlines for when I’d need to declare that I was going down to part-time and when I’d need to register for summer courses. Le sigh. It’s just a tough two years, yeah? It’s been tough since I got to DC, except when I was working on salary for Project Talent. Ah, those were the good times. Lots of money going into new shoes and savings accounts. I barely noticed when I paid rent, bills, etc. But now, at half salary, things hurt a lot more. It’s already time to pay rent again! So soon. I miss working full-time. Yum, that paycheck…

First things, first, though.

I’ve got a list of things I’ve been putting off for the last year (literally) that I need to get done in the two weeks between now and when school starts back. Mainly mailing things, writing letters, finishing projects, and READINGREADINGREADING. I’m going to try and do some general reading on the subjects I’ll be taking this upcoming semester so I don’t get there and feel lost like I did this past semester. I also really want to read the new Van Gogh biography and that book on Cleopatra that I’ve had for years. Maybe I’ll even finish the Historian! All starting tomorrow, of course. 😉

After school starts, I’ll meet with my advisor. I’ll see what my options are as far as going part-time is concerned. I’ll figure out if I can take summer courses and when registration is. Hopefully he’ll have a better idea about what fellowship money the school can offer this semester, but that may be a shot in the dark. GWU seems to do things very last minute. I might ask him about a thesis as well, but I’m still debating. I might not have enough time to do a thesis, at least if I still have to do a Qualifying Paper on top of it. Things to ask, things to know. Hopefully having a few answers will help ease my anxiety.

Sometimes when I look back on 2011, I just feel astounded. 2012 should prove just as intense. The Years of Change, that’s what I’ll call my 20’s when I’m old enough to consider them retrospectively. Fucking.Crazy.

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