By Amanda Gernentz Hanson • May 05, 2015•Writers in Residence
As I sit here and write this, I am four days away from walking across a stage with my Master’s degree. Heckuva introduction to a post, right? A master’s degree may not seem like much to lawyers who already have their JD, but to me, it does mean something. It’s big.
To me, it means that I won.
Now, why would I put it like that, do you ask?
When I graduated from college, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I was going to get my PhD and then I was going to do a postdoc, and then I was going to teach at a university and maybe do some research. I had that dream. And then I realized I didn’t like scientific research all that much. And I realized that I wanted to be a little bit more creative. So I left.
And then I drifted.
A little less than year after I left that program, I met H. And I went through a whole bunch of ideas about what I wanted to do with my life. A forensic scientist (again), a psychologist, an environmental engineer. I wasn’t sure what I wanted. Somewhere amidst all of my internet research, I stumbled across technical communication. I wasn’t sure—I’d tried so many different things at that point that I was scared. H pushed me to pursue it—he thought it was a good intersection between the sciency part of my brain and the creative part.
That was two years ago. And now I’m here, about to walk across that stage with that master’s degree in my hand.
More importantly, though—I have a job that I like and that pays me well. And get this—it’s in my field. And! I acquired it before I had finished the degree! What kind of awesome is that?
Anyway. This post sort of got away from me. This is my point: I worked very hard at many different things in order to get where I am right now. I had three internships in a single summer. I worked two jobs, plus sold jewelry and umpired youth softball on the side. Money was tight, and time was tighter, but I made it work. And I did that to prove to myself that I could do it. I did that to show myself that I was a person who worked hard for what she wanted. And that I could finish something. It had been a while since I had finished something that I started.
But now that I did it, I keep thinking about all of the things I can do now. I can study for the LSAT. I can work on perfecting my query letter so I can find a literary agent for a novel I wrote a couple of years ago. I can get my body back in shape so I can finally run that marathon. I have options, and I know I can accomplish anything I want. So what’s next?
Maybe planning for law school applications?
Yes, I think that’s what I should do next.