No kind of change has ever been easy, no matter what your age or stage in life. As humans, once we’re set in our ways, it’s very difficult to break it. Habits become routine, routine becomes monotony. Slowly you mistake monotony for comfort.
What happens when you break that monotony?
What happens when you decide to pursue further education, after almost 4 years of living in this comfort? After recently having had the guts and determination to do exactly that, I’ve listed down some things you need to know before taking this decision.
1) You might have to move cities. This may not always be the case, but most people choose to pursue a higher degree out of their current comfort zone. If so, be ready to leave your friends and family behind. Sure, it may seem exciting to start life in a new city, even if it’s just for a year or two, but remember, that these people are the ones you rely on, they are the ones whose shoulders you cry on and whose advice you seek. With this decision they can all vanish. Sure, they will still be there for you, but you’ll never feel the same, nothing beats physical contact.
2) It will never be like your undergraduate college life. Your undergraduate college life would have been filled with parties, late nights, spontaneous holidays to Goa, bunking classes, roommate drama and a seemingly unlimited supply of alcohol. The one aspect that will be similar is the late nights, and no, you won’t be partying with your friends – it will be spent preparing for presentations and upcoming evaluations. Of course, the parties will be there, but they will be far and few between.
3) There will be a strain on your relationship. Like with any good relationship that has a set routine, your relationship with your partner will take a beating too. You will both get frustrated that you don’t meet as often (even if you’ve not moved away to study), or even talk as often as before. You will fight more often, and the thought of it not working out will cross your mind. As you make friends and find your group, you’ll spend more of the little free time with them, resulting in even more fights.
4) You will work on internships. After working in the corporate world in a relatively senior position, you will have to go back to the bottom during your internship. This time around, you will be the one waiting for the boss to hand out work to you. You will be the one who considers not logging into Facebook, out of fear that it will anger your boss.
5) You will work with people who have no clue about the corporate world. During your time at your postgraduate course, you will be teamed up with people who have no clue about the corporate world, and yet believe that they know what it’s all about. (Perhaps I should write a different post dedicated just to enlighten them. But that’s for another time.)
6) You will feel nostalgic. Like with any degree of change, you’ll feel nostalgic when you enter your old office. You will find that so much has changed in what you think is such a short period of time, and will reminisce about the days you used to walk those stairs.
7) You will lose touch with close office colleagues. It’s not something we think will happen, but you will lose touch with that group you used to hang out with at work, who you used to have lunch with. It doesn’t matter how close you have come to be, and how much you meant it when you promised to keep in touch, you will lose touch. You will get occupied with getting to class on time, finishing presentations, and begging for some alone time. They will get occupied with moving up the corporate ladder, and though you’ll know of their promotions and increments, you won’t be a big part of their life. It’s just something you have to come to terms with.
8) You will wonder why you ever quit your job. On really difficult days, you will question your decision to quit your job, if even for a millisecond. You will remember how comfortable you got in your job, how you got used to the routine – be it travelling, work, or weekends. Even if the thought does cross your mind, remember that no matter what the case, you are learning, and you will be back in the corporate world before you know it, ironically looking back on these days, and wishing for them again.
So while I might have not painted the rosiest picture, these things will happen, you won’t be able to escape it. But if you’re accustomed to change, you’ll take it in your stride and soldier on to this new phase in your life.
All the best!