Thursday, March 7, 2019

This is Your Brain on Graduate School: Part I, the Good News

A friend texted recently: I’m the only Notre Dame student capable of defecting from God’s grace, not finding a mate, misremembering God’s transcendence, and freezing.

That, I responded, is the internal monologue of every graduate student in February.

Graduate school taught me a great deal and I'm monumentally grateful for it. Recently, I got stuck in the spin cycle of bemoaning my master's degree, wondering why I have just made myself inexplicable and entirely unknowable to a large swath of the male population, one of whom I would hope to mate with.

And it's true, being, for most of my life, unconcerned with prioritizing weight over mental health, organization over creativity, and expressing myself with prudent concern for public image, I have fairly tanked my prospects at being highly mate-able material. The master's degree is like an iceberg upon which I ran my Titanic, except the Titanic, in this version, was already riddled by tears in its keel by misguidedly scraping itself over a coral reef. In other words, the master's degree was only a matter of time.

In this particular spin cycle, running through Riverside Park, I suddenly stopped myself and laughed. My gosh, of course the theology degree was an excellent idea: it didn't make me ineligible, it rather gave me words to express that which was already within me. It gave me language to articulate to other people who may also think and care about the same things, in slightly different ways, what I care about deep within my heart. No, the master's degree was good, because it has made me more comprehensible to myself, and in that case, and only when we are clear to ourselves, can we make ourselves known more fully to others.

No comments:

Post a Comment