My contract ended in September, and I started a Master’s degree. The end of my contract was harrowing, to say the least, and the first week of being back in lectures was completely exhausting. But now that I consider the differences, I’ve come to a conclusion: studying is a selfish business.
I enjoyed my work, but I arrived home at the end of every day tired. Even if I had no meetings, there was someone else who wanted something done for them. I had to check my email all the time and punctually reply to queries. That was my job, and it was fun (at times!), but exhausting.
Now, I have no incoming email. I can sit for an entire day doing my coursework without anyone telling me that I have to do this or that for them. Sure, I have to (should?) attend lectures and do the coursework assigned to me. But deadlines are neatly scheduled at reasonable intervals with enough time to complete the work. Nobody emails at 4:30pm with something they need done urgently by the next morning. I don’t get mission critical bug reports the hour before a demo. If I don’t attend a lecture, I don’t get called out by my boss. Nobody cares but me.
No wonder some graduates appear arrogant. They’ve only been thinking about their own needs and deadlines for the past few years, with very little accountability for those deadlines, other than not passing a course.
Anyway, the next year will be a nice break from the frenetic pace of real work, like a year-long holiday. And I’ll actually have some energy at the end of the day, perhaps even to update my blog.