Hello, it’s me, Misty, here to tell you what a day in your life as a grad student may be like. If you’re in the crazy process of graduate applications, sweating over writing samples and ominously eyeballing Statement of Purpose guidelines for the 400th time, allow me to assure you that it gets much harder! Haha. When I was applying to grad schools, I felt like I was working a full-time job on top of my glamorous part-time job (a McDonald’s cashier, if you must know). But, because you are beautiful and talented and you know what you want from this life, undoubtably you’ll get into your program, and that is where the craziness starts. So here’s my list of how grad school works, or, A DAY IN THE LIFE OF, so you know what to expect when you get here!
1). Wake up and immediately hit the snooze seventeen times because you stayed up until 4am watching Netflix again (never underestimate the importance of Netflix, or, “you time”).
2). Curse the day you were born and the day you were assigned to teach an English class at the CRACK OF 10:30 AM; it is clearly torture and at the rate of your paltry stipend, nearing upon slave labor.
3). Get a phone call from your little sister asking if you’ve showered in the last three days, because somehow, despite reading twelve articles, two books, and writing three papers a week, not to mention grading both sections of the class you teach, you’ve managed to completely forget about daily essentials like, er, washing your hair (fret not! What is family for)?
4). Begrudgingly shower.
4). Teach English 101 to the lovely little tots known as students. Insert multiple Nicolas Cage jokes, Macklemore references, and the occasional Miley Cyrus snub (even though you not-so-secretly love her). So doing will allow you to relate to your students, who mostly just got out of high school, which seems like AN ETERNITY ago for you.
5). Hold office hours, which no one shows up for. Spend this time wisely by going on Tumblr.
6). Remember at the last minute that you have a poetry/prose/book reading/signing to attend, and dash to the local bookstore, arriving fifteen minutes late with Starbucks.
7). Meet famous writers; salivate over them; quote them often, as though you two are tight buddies, having met all of once. “As Teju Cole always says, you have to write it to edit it!” is my personal favorite.
8). Attend three-hour class with twelve people you adore, a professor you worship, and (no less than) two people whose pretentiousness makes you want to lovingly claw their eyeballs out. Make sure to frequently reference David Foster Wallace, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and any writer with a long, foreign name so as to earn points for smartness and prove to your cohort you are not an uncultured swine.
9). Receive writing assignment, weep.
10). Netflix as reward