Game Plan: A Navel-Gazing Self-Indulgent Ramble and Motivational Speech
Granted, this is just yet another method of procrastinating, but I need to know when this interminable self-inflicted form of torture is going to end.
(because I could not possibly care any less about this course if I tried, and it’s not relevant to anything I want to study, but it’s a pre-requisite for every 2nd year bio course, so I don’t have a freaking choice and I hate it I hate it I hate it)
I recently had a long Facebook conversation about definitions of success, treading water, and finding your place in life. In these conversations, people often say that it’s the journey that’s important, not the destination. So enjoy what you’re doing while you’re doing it! Think positive! Love life!
That can be very true and very important. But in this particular instance, my specific journey involves 4 more years of school. Reminder to self: YOU HAVE DONE STUFF. You have completed, with high honours, a Bachelor of Journalism and a Minor in Classical Civilization from Carleton University, found out you CAN hack it in the real, adult world, worked in administration and communications, taught English in Korea, traveled to 27 countries, read thousands of books, dabbled in copy editing, origami, photography, and archaeology, finally worked out a life course that feels meaningful, important, and somehow also realistic in a field that excites you, where you feel competent and in control, and RIGHT NOW you are doing pursuing that course, completing a BSc in Psychology and Biology at York. YOU ARE NOT USELESS. YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE. You’re just making your way over a particularly, shall we say, sticky patch in your life road right now. Like a road bump made of molasses.
Because, see, I am NOT good at school. I am a terrible student. I get good marks, but I procrastinate, get stressed and overwhelmed, have difficulty focusing, and, of course, have no money. Worst of all, when I’m in school, I cannot organize a good work-life balance to save my life. I’m either doing homework, worrying about homework, avoiding homework, or trying to convince myself to get started on homework. For instance, this entire post.
This journey doesn’t feel like an exciting and stimulating exploration full of new knowledge and lessons to be learnt. It feels 4-year emotional jail sentence, and I am putting myself through it for one reason: to reach the destination of a career in something that is intellectually interesting, emotionally fulfilling, and pays decently. Something I can see myself succeeding in, caring about, doing full time while making space for family, travel, writing, and hobbies. In this case, I really really really care specifically about the destination.
With that in mind, here’s what I need to do to complete this BSc in Psychology and Biology after the end of the current school year. As wonderful as it would be to fit all this into one semester, I can’t, because every damn group of courses in each semester from here on out is required to take those in the following semester. There is no shortcut. There is no way to speed through this.
Summer 2017 (I turn 30)
BIOL 2070 – Research Methods in Cell and Molecular Biology
BIOL 2020 – Biochemistry
BIOL 2021 – Cell Biology
BIOL 3110 – Molecular Biology 1
BIOL 4270 – Reproduction
BIOL 3130 – Molecular Biology 2
BIOL 4061 – Cell and Molecular Biology of Development
Summer 2018 (I turn 31)
BIOL 4285 – Human Molecular Genetics
BIOL 4010 – Biology of Cancer
GRADUATE FOREVER AND EVER 100000 TIMES
THIS IS DOABLE.
In my perfect world, I run off to do a working holiday in Australia (Fall 2018-Fall 2019) and see New Zealand and Southeast Asia at the same time! Then I teach overseas and earn some money in Europe or South America (Fall 2019-Fall 2020)! In 2019, I apply to grad schools, and in Fall 2020, I choose one, endure 2 more years of education, and then begin my career. After graduation, I take one last year off to travel. I do Africa and whatever continent I didn’t teach in. Then, in 2023, at age 36, I begin my career. Any further travel will take place during summer and winter breaks, like a “normal” person. With any luck, I’ll fill in the blanks I missed, maybe see the Galapagos and Antarctica. At some point in the future, maybe I write a book, or get a PhD in behavioural psychology, maybe I meet someone and we adopt a kid, maybe I get a puppy, perhaps I’ll learn how to sew, or sell custom gifts and paper creations on the side. I work until I’m 70, then retire. Despite the late start, I’ve still had a 34-year long career. I write, maybe enjoy grandchildren, or nieces and nephews, maybe that’s when I start my PhD. Hey, Brian May was 60 when he got his. Maybe I visit all the countries in the world, go sky-diving at 90, finish all the books on my to-read list, and die happily at 102 years old.
Or maybe I skip the travel and go straight to grad school. Maybe I find out that genetic counselling isn’t for me after all. Maybe I play saxophone in the orchestra pit at musicals and become a voice actor. Maybe Trump causes a nuclear holocaust and the point is moot.
Or, maybe I get hit by a bus next week.
Ok, seriously, it’s time to study chemistry now.