Stay in school, kids

Oh the irony. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking to a group of UTA marketing/PR students. You know, trying to mold the minds of tomorrow’s leaders. 

Which makes what I did yesterday that much more deplorable.
There’s two very cute, right-out-of-college girls in some of my grad school classes. They’re a bit overwhelmed (it’s that part of the semester where we’re all a tad bit stressed), and one emailed me and asked for advice. She was so sweet… she said I was always encouraging, and she wanted me to remind her why she was getting her master’s.
But she caught me on a night when I was particularly “over” school. Probably because I spent six hours on my Friday night doing homework. Plus another two evenings last week. Tonight, I did four hours after work. More of the same tomorrow. And probably Friday night too. So when she asked me for encouragement, what she got instead was…
The truth. I told her to run away, as fast as she can, while she still has a semblance of a social life left. I told her that I was sick of missing out on fun things, new hobbies, hanging out with friends, playing in softball leagues, and altogether having a simple, laid-back life. I told her to quit and to never look back. I was joking, of course. I thought she could tell.
Sometimes people don’t “get” my sense of humor.
Next thing I know I’m getting emails from both girls, telling me that they agree and they’re ready to quit. Eeek! No, please don’t quit grad school because of me! I don’t want to be *that girl* who ruined your academic career just because I was in a particularly cantankerous mood one evening. I called my mom, and to make me feel better, she admitted that she once talked a co-worker out of going back and finishing her undergraduate degree. She told her to go play with her grandkids instead. That very day the lady withdrew from her college algebra class and never returned. Another drop-out attributed to my family. Great. People really shouldn’t come to us for academic advice (ironic, since my mother is a teacher with a master’s degree, married to a man who used to be a professor with two master’s degrees).
I probably won’t mention that part tomorrow during the Q&A session with the college kids. I’m going to put on my best smile and sweetly yet assertively tell them to stay in school. Finish your degree. And don’t listen to sarcastic girls if they tell you differently. We’re usually just joking.

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