Degreed & Graduated! And, no, I don’t have “anything lined up”

I’ve done it!  I officially possess an MLS degree from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, a.k.a. the longest school name ever.  Well, I’ve earned the degree and when it arrives in the mail in a few weeks, I’ll officially possess it.  I celebrated with a friend by having Swedish Fish & grilled cheese with Old Bay and by playing a weird little video game called Katamari.  It was perfect.

MLS Celebration

MLS Celebration!  (Katamari illustration(top left) by pronouncedyou on deviantART)

Why is it that the first thing people ask after finding out you’ve graduated is, “So, what’s next?  Do you have anything lined up?” or “Have you begun looking for jobs yet?”  I know they are being politely curious, all reading from the same script, but for someone who has just been doing all she can to get the darn degree, it’s a little discouraging and a lot annoying.  This is mostly because, no, I do not have anything lined up and I haven’t even begun to look, though I’m perfectly aware that I should.  I applied for a couple of positions at the beginning of May about which I’ve heard nothing, but was otherwise absorbed in working two jobs and finishing my final projects.  And you know what?  I did it!  Even more than that, I decided to take what I deemed was a well-deserved break for one week before diving into my job search.  I spent it catching up with friends I’ve been too busy to see and reading a book I’ve been too busy to read.  So, if you happen to know someone who has just gotten their maters degree, can I suggest you ask any of the following questions, because odds are if that person has a job lined up, they’ll be excited about it and tell you without your having to ask.

Questions for recent graduates:

So, how does it feel to have your degree?

Is it nice to finally be done with school?

Any big plans for your newly acquired spare time?

Can I buy you a celebratory drink?

Can I call you Master?

These are all acceptable inquiries that are unlikely to shame a jobless graduate and actually let them feel proud of what they’ve accomplished rather than chagrin at what they have not.  And please, do buy them that drink because they are very likely poor and acutely aware of the student loan officers peering at them over menu tops or around that corner or that one…

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