It has come down to this.
It’s nearly over. We are into the last two weeks of the MA/MBA program. This week will mark the final week of lectures and internships, and the following week will be the last exam week of postgraduate study (possibly ever, though never say never). And then we will be done with classes, done with assignments, done with late nights and lost weekends studying.
And yet two weeks from now is so far away. There’s still much to do, and the SMU MA/MBA program makes sure you are working at full pace up until the very end. Final papers, projects, and presentations are yet to be delivered. Throw in a few exams for good measure and there’s no chance to take your foot off the pedal and coast.
Not that I would anyway; the whole situation reminds me of a quote from the Cynic philosopher Diogenes of Sinope about nearing the end of a journey:
“What, if I were running in the stadium, ought I to slacken my pace when approaching the goal?”
That quote has always stuck with me as a reminder to work hard until the very end, whether it is in school, employment, on stage, or on the sporting field. The temptation to ease off at the finish is great, but it is then that we can trip ourselves up. Not only that, in entertainment we often remember the finale more than anything else. More reason to go out in style, putting in our fullest effort until the last.
And after the last? Well, that’s still an open question. There’s no job lined up yet, not for lack of trying. It’s a tough market, and all too often you are beholden to the schedules and resources of employers. Idle speculation does not help, you have to try and wait it out without panicking.
Still, looking at the calendar, the space is completely blank after graduation. No classes, no meetings, just a white void that trails off into the future. It’s a scary feeling.
And somewhere in the midst of all the uncertainty I am starting to look back over the last two years. It has been an amazing time. The experiences, the friends, the things I have learned. Truly a once in a lifetime adventure.
But there’s not really time now to get nostalgic and dwell on these things. There’ll be time for that in a fortnight. Right now, the final set of work awaits. I have to remember the lesson of Diogenes, and begin to run even faster.
After all, the finish line is in view.
Observations on music, coffee, and the occasional controversial thought.
Copyright © Gerard Atkinson 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the owner is strictly prohibited.