Pay Attention to Me.

It’s no secret that I love attention. I was raised as an only child (I have half-siblings who were already out of the house when I came along), and as such, I have a problem with wanting to be praised and fawned over. Now, it’s not like my mommy and daddy spoiled me, because they expected me to be studious and responsible and smart. I wasn’t simply handed stuff just because I was their kid. But I didn’t have to share my parents with anyone, and they were the ones who reassured me that I was doing a good job at whatever I was doing.

Now that I’ve grown up to a degree, I still crave validation from others, especially parent figures. This is problem, however, when a good number of friends follow the traditional milestone path. A.k.a., it’s not fair that adults pay more attention to my friends because they’re getting married/having kids/buying homes.. *crosses arms and makes pouty face*

See, I could continue to pout. Or I could point out how pursuing a Master’s degree in student affairs is akin to getting married, in order to make people pay attention to me. ME.

1. Selection process vs. dating
Applying to different Master’s programs was like dating around. I had to prove to each university that I was the best choice, in terms of smarts and personality. And at least in my dating world, I kind of have to do the same thing, albeit not as methodically.

However, as in dating, I had to see what each school offered me. I could have applied to the most prestigious, expensive school out there, but if said school didn’t have the charm and the warmth I was looking for, then why wouldn’t I move on to a strong, country-type? (Hello, Oregon State.)

2. Accepting the offer of admission vs. getting engaged
You’ve found “the one.” And you hope that they think the same of you. You wait anxiously, wondering how the question will be popped: “Will you come to our school?”
(Also, I suppose the assistantship offer was kind of like getting a ring to seal the deal, only I can’t really wear that around.)

3. Graduation vs. the ceremony
This is aways off, but think of scheduling and classes and essays as similar to scouting for a venue, meeting with officiants, buying decorations, etc. It’s the meat of the process, and in the end, you have a wonderful, culminating ceremony that celebrates your journey. In this case, I will most likely be wearing a hideous black gown again instead of a sparkly white dress, but there is likely to be dancing afterwards anyway.

4. The new school hoodie vs. the dress
The most selfish part of the process, but in the best way possible. I think this explains itself. You just have to shop around until you find the one that fits you and your personality best.

5. Budgeting vs. …well, budgeting
It all comes down to money in the end. Again, pretty self-explanatory, and still a huge pain in the–

And that concludes this edition of “I’m a 20-Something, and I Think You Should Really Praise Me on my Bold Decision to go to Grad School.”

🙂

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