There's been a serious bout of self reflection going on in my neck of the woods, and the outlook is gloomy.
While I realize I should be happy that graduation is fast approaching, I'm disheartened because I am absolutely positively burned out. It's to the point that I cannot physically make myself sit down and work on my thesis. I know if I knuckled down I could be almost completely done in two weeks. Can't do it. Don't wanna.
So, as I said, I've been doing some thinking and I'm more or less leaving my fate up to the universe to decide for me. If I get into Illinois, I'll go directly into my PhD. If not, even if I get into one of the other programs I applied to, I will most likely take some time off.
Having had a real job (as opposed to being an indentured servant...aka "graduate assistant") for a few years, I do miss a few things about living and working in the real world. Namely having a steady income that doesn't suck. With my Masters I could probably get a job pulling down 36-40 thousand a year and that would do me just fine. I have a physically sick feeling when I think of all the debt hanging over my head. At least $70,000 in student loans and a couple of thousand in credit card debt (leftovers from textbook purchases and summer tuition). On a positive note, I have $4,000 in savings, which makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I need to get going on a money market account and be saving to open an IRA and whatnot.
I would also love to not work 6 days a week. A "real job" might afford me a bit more downtime (as hard as that is to believe) since I wouldn't be strapped with special events to attend and things to plan and conferences to go to and papers to write ALL the fucking time. I might actually be able to read a book I like, go to the gym and work off some of this horrendous weight, and even have a place of my own again. With furniture and everything.
In short, I suppose I'm just missing a normal life. While a normal life might bore the pants off me after a stint outside academia, it also might be just what I need to recharge.
Listening: "The Neighbor"...The Dixie Chicks