Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Post-Student World

We've all had a season of our lives when our identity focused around the role of student. We all live out this role for at least 14 years, I've lived it for 21 years (so far). When it came time to leave school and join the "real world" I was so tired of student life that I could not wait for a job with regular hours and a regular pay cheque. There was a period of adjustment but eventually I got into the groove of being a working girl. However, almost two years out, I'm realizing that there are some patterns of my old student identity that I have not found new patterns to replace.

While in the student world there is a magical measurement of time called a semester. No matter what is going on - how difficult the class is, how much you dislike your teacher - it will end after four months. Every four months you get all new people, new topics of study, a new schedule, basically a new life! Two years later, I still get itchy for a life makeover every four months. However, since I am in a steady job and apartment and friendships its a little hard to get the semester effect. It leaves me feeling a little bit trapped.

As a student I always new what I was working towards, whether it be a grade on an assignment, passing a class, or a diploma. What I was working towards was measurable and I was handed back my work with percentages on it telling me how I did. I always knew specifically where I stood and where I was going. In my job I have the goals of always learning more and doing the best job that I can, but these goals aren't particularly measurable and they are ongoing so will never really be achieved. It leaves me feeling lost and wandering.

So how does one adjust to post-student life? What goals do I set for myself? And how do I motivate myself to achieve them if there is no consequence to simply putting them off until tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow?