2012: The End.
No, not the apocalypse (do people actually believe that shit?).
This year will be the end of one way of life and the beginning of another, in theory.
If everything goes to plan, my final exam will be this Wednesday. The following day I’ll be celebrating the end of exams plus Portsmouth SitP’s first birthday (clicky for more info).
The next major milestone comes in March, which is when my dissertation is due in, and I am absolutely terrified. Shortly after is my final clinical placement, and hopefully the last time I’ll be working in a hospital without being paid.
And then that’s it. Finished. No more lectures, exams or presentations. No more staying up til 3am writing essays (I really can relate to Douglas Adams’ feelings on deadlines).
Apparently some people feel scared upon leaving academia; I wonder if this is because they haven’t worked before as I suppose that can be quite daunting. The scariest thing for me was starting the process. Giving up my job was the most unpleasant part of the whole affair, and I’m not just talking about losing a regular salary, although that was quite galling. There’s a certain safety in doing something you know you’re capable of, and you don’t tend to get that when you’re starting from scratch.
When I was learning how to use Linux for the first time, I did so at my own pace, and when it all got a bit much I’d retreat to the safety of Active Directory, something I could configure in my sleep (and frequently did so) which bumped my confidence back up.
There’s not been much in the way of safety or familiarity over the past 2 and a bit years; all of it (with the minor exception of the teeny bit of quantum physics in the first year) has been brand new to me, even down to certain aspects of essay writing (I put my name on the first essay I submitted, not knowing that this was an instant fail- oops!) so it’s been something of a journey.
The “working in a hospital” bit which comes next doesn’t worry me so much; from what I’ve seen, all newly quals start their first jobs like rabbits on a motorway, terrified about their first on-call or theatre case so I’m sure I’ll fit right in. The actual act of getting a job is pretty unnerving though. I had my first rejection last week for my “dream job” at King’s College Hospital. I didn’t expect to even be considered, but still. Sucks.
Anyway, I’m rambling. Back to revision.