Late February is always such a bummer. I never look forward to the intersection of filing taxes, completing my FAFSA, and worrying about next year’s funding. This period reminds me that for some people I’m an adult, but I still need to ask for my weekly allowance, so to speak. Talking about money is always awkward and it’s definitely impolite in any social situation; I hate even talking to myself about it. But unfortunately it’s a huge part of graduate student life and before I can discuss anything cute or interesting, I need to exorcise these demons.
From my father I inherited an optimism that often borders on denial. It’s served me well in many situations since people like us tend to wait until all the ugly bits of life blow over before we admit that it was ever unpleasant. Most of the time I don’t think about how my graduate student life is being bankrolled. But when I need to fill out application after application and wish upon every evening star that I win the big fellowship prize, which actually is nothing to write home about, it all gets too ridiculous to ignore.
I also inherited a sense of responsibility from my father, so the first thing I admit in this situation is that all of this was my choice. I decided, as an able-bodied adult with all my faculties in check, that I’d voluntarily enter graduate school. Both times. And I accept that this choice comes with many sacrifices. The jokes about eating ramen and wearing sweatpants all the time are very true. Not that I participate in either of those activities, but whatever.
These late February doldrums aren’t out of the ordinary. They actually come round at the beginning and end of every semester. And often in between. But it’s still tiresome to feel like a child, pinning every hope on the slightest raise in her allowance. Or at the very least that her allowance is still there tomorrow.
Here are some photos, taken from my vantage point on two Capital Metro buses, of my commute to and from campus today. I’m really digging the juxtaposition of different architectural styles downtown as well as the sunshine that breaks through everyday after lunch. Enjoy!