Calls of “four more years” for presidents on a re-election campaign are fairly common, but I’ve yet to see someone begin a “six more years” chant at a university. I don’t blame them, the Ph.D isn’t for most people.
For most, I’d imagine, 17-or-so years of education can leave you burned out and wanting something else. Perhaps a job, or a dog or a car. But not me, not this graduating senior; I want six more years of school.
Simply put, if you compared the college atmosphere (your traditional four year experience) to a meal at a nice restaurant, I’ve only just finished the appetizer. I don’t feel like I’ve actually had anything substantial to eat yet.
I spent four years as a history major and three as a journalism major, and in this time I’ve run WRIU, written for the Cigar and traveled the northeast following Rams sports, but it has felt…less than full in some ways.
In those four years, just about two of them were dedicated to general education requirements for which I cared very little. I can say that I like spaghetti in Italian now, and vaguely understand statistics, but I only chased my love of American history for two years. Even over the course of those two years I had to wait for courses to come about and be offered at convenient times so I could actually take them. I feel as though, despite having completed numerous courses in U.S. history, that I’ve only scratched the surface of what I want to know.
I simply feel like I have a lot left to learn after 17 years of school and possibly something to contribute. The more I’ve studied U.S. history, especially the history of labor and race, the more I realize how little of it I’ve ever heard before, and how much more of those stories there is to tell.
Admittedly, I do feel a little burned out after these past four years. I’m not a sadist for wanting to continue my schooling, but I do understand the need to relax. After I spend a summer in Maine working for a baseball team and the fall in Germany, then I’ll be in good enough shape to pursue a dissertation.
I’m at a time in my life where I have no serious attachments to anything so why not be bold and pursue something that could be a big deal? Essentially, there is a six-year entrÃ©e ahead of me and my choice is to eat and be full, or feel starved. I will choose to eat.